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MGIC LONDON 




NETTA SYRET'I 



THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 







THE 

ROYAL ROAD 
LIBRARY 



TOR 



MAGIC LONDON 



THE ROYAL ROAD 
LIBRARY 

THE CARL EWALD BOOKS 

Translated by 
Alexander Teixeira de Mattos 

1. TWO-LEGS 

2. THE OLD WILLOW TREE 

AND OTHER STORIES 

6. THE POND 

THENETTA SYRETT BOOKS 

3. TOBY AND THE ODD BEASTS 

4. RACHEL AND THE SEVEN 

WONDERS 
8. MAGIC LONDON 



THE W. H. KOEBEL BOOKS 

5. THE BUTTERFLIES' DAY 
7. THE PAGEANT OF THE 
FLOWERS 




THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON 



MAGIC 
LONDON 

BYNETTASYRETT 

ILLUSTRATED BY 
HELEN JACOBS 




THORNTON BUTTERWORTH U 

15 BEDFORD -S T STRAND, LONDON WC.2 



Published 1922. 



-fz 

7 



TO THE 

LITTLE CITIZENS OF LONDON 

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 

May they find a " Godmother " who will take them to all the 

places visited by Betty, so that, like her, they may discover 

they are really living in a Magic City. 



882489 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

I MAGIC LONDON : * . . . ... . 13 

Roman London 

A Fairy Tale Museum 

II THE MIDDLE AGES . . . . , . . - 43 

The London of Dick Whittington 

III IN TUDOR DAYS . . , . ..-/.. 81 

The London of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth 

IV THE RESTORATION . . . ... . . . 117 

The London of Charles II and of Mr. Samuel Pepys 

V THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . , . 145 
The London of the Georges and of Dr. Johnson 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Great Fire of London (Colour) .... Frontispiece 

She was beginning to think she liked her godmother . Facing page 14 

The Slave Market (Colour) 24 

Canterbury Pilgrims (Colour) . . ^ -....-. .. ,, . 72 

The Royal Barge (Colour) . , f . ."..- , " . .? 104 

Charles I . . . ... . . . ., "^JL . 124 

The King entered, leading the Queen by the hand . . ,, 130 

A Sedan Chair (Colour) . . . " . .: , ,, 160 



11 



Magic London 

ALL her life up to the time she was eleven years old, 
Betty had heard about, but never seen, her god- 
mother. The reason for this, was that until a year 
ago, Betty's home had been far away in the country, while 
Godmother Strangeways lived in London. Then, just when the 
child's father and mother moved to town, Godmother decided 
to travel abroad. So it happened that Betty had been more 
than a year in London before she met the old lady who afterwards 
made such a difference in her life. 

She never forgot the first day she met her. 

" Your godmother has come back/' said her mother one 
morning at breakfast time, as with a curious smile she passed a 
letter to her husband. 

" Has she ? Oh, I do want to see her i " exclaimed Betty. 

" Well, you will. She wants you to spend the day with her 
to-morrow." 

" Aren't you and Dad coming too ? " 

" No, she wants you alone. She's sending her car to fetch 
you to-morrow at eleven o'clock. Your father and I will go to 
see her another time." 

" I wish you were coming. I don't know her, and I don't 
want to be there all day alone with her," grumbled Betty. 
" What will there be to do ? " 

" You'll find shell provide plenty to do," laughed her father. 
" Mind you don't tell her though, how much you dislike London ! " 
he added in his teasing voice. 

13 



14 MAGIC LONDON 

" Why ? " asked Betty. 

" Because your godmother loves it. She's a great authority 
on London. What she doesn't know about it, isn't worth 
knowing. It's quite uncanny. I wish she'd write a book about 
it." 

" I can't think how any one can love London," Betty declared. 
" Such a horrid, big, ugly, dull place. I shall never, never like 
it!" 

Godmother's little car duly came round next morning, and 
after a drive, Betty found herself in a tiny room, in a tiny house, 
in a tiny street close to Westminster Abbey, seated opposite to 
a very handsome old lady. 

"I'm sorry my godchild doesn't like London," this old lady 
remarked suddenly, in the midst of a conversation about some- 
thing else. 

Betty blushed and looked uncomfortable. She felt shy of 
her godmother who, as she had always heard, was very clever 
but " eccentric " a word she thought meant different from other 
people. 

" It's all so confusing and noisy and there are such lots of 
ugly houses," she began apologetically. " And I do miss the 
lovely country and our beautiful garden," she added with tears 
in her voice. 

" Of course you do," said Godmother sympathetically. 
" But as it's a pity to hate the place you have to live in, I'm 
going to make you think London the most fascinating town in 
the world." 

She spoke confidently, and just as confidently Betty said to 
herself, " You'll never do that." 

" You think it's ugly, don't you ? " Godmother inquired. 
"Well, so it is in parts." 

"Oh, it's not all ugly," Betty hastened to allow. " This little 
street is awfully pretty and so quiet. It's like a street in a 
country town. You can forget you're in London. It's a very 
old street, isn't it ? " She was forgetting her shyness and 
beginning to think she liked her godmother. She certainly liked 
the look of her. Godmother Strangeways was dressed in a way 




SHE WAS BEGINNING TO THINK SHE LIKED HER GODMOTHER 



MAGIC LONDON 17 

which Betty described to herself as " nicely old-fashioned." She 
had snow-white curls fastened back behind her ears with tor- 
toiseshell combs, and the ample-flowered silk dress she wore 
was, as her godchild decided, "just right " for the small white- 
panelled room with its old furniture and tall narrow cabinets 
filled with all sorts of curious things. 

" Old ? " repeated her godmother. "It's about two hundred 
years old, and that, as London goes now, is rather ancient. 
But it's new compared with the age of London itself. What is 
two hundred years compared with nearly two thousand ? " 

" Is London as old as that ? " 

" Where's your history ? Didn't the Romans live here once 
upon a time ? " asked Godmother Strangeways briskly. 

" So they did," murmured Betty. 

" Well, some of them settled in this island soon after the 
birth of Christ, and that is nearly two thousand years ago." 

" But I didn't know they lived in London ? " 

Godmother laughed. " They made London, child. The first 
London. And just in the place where it now stands, at the 
mouth of the Thames." 

" But was it called London then ? " 

" Something very like it. It's earliest name was Llyn-din, 
and the Romans called it Londinium. You see how easy it is 
to get London out of that ? They had another name for it as 
well quite a different one. They sometimes called it Augusta." 

Betty was silent for a minute, then after a quick glance at 
her godmother she said rather timidly, " Dad says what you 
know about London is quite uncanny. He says he wonders you 
don't write a book about it. When you asked me to come to 
see you, he was very pleased because he said if any one could 
make me like London it was you. And of course as I have to 
live here I should like to like it ! " She sighed rather hopelessly. 

The old lady began to smile, and her smile was mysterious. 

" Shall I tell you why I don't write a book about London ? " 
she said. " It's because if I did, it would be considered uncanny, 
as Dad says." 

Betty began to look and feel excited. 

" Oh, why ? Do tell me why ? " 



i8 



MAGIC LONDON 



"I'm not quite sure whether it would be of any use to tell 
you, but I shall know better in a few hours' time, when I've 
seen a little more of you. I'm going to take you out for a drive 
now, before luncheon. The car is still at the door." 

Ten minutes later, Betty took her seat beside the old lady, 
and the car glided out of the quiet street into a busy thorough- 
fare. It was a lovely spring day, and she was glad to be out 
of doors in a part of London more or less new to her. She was 

also very curious about 
what Godmother had re- 
cently hinted, though she 
scarcely liked to question 
her on the subject. 

They were passing 
Westminster Abbey now, 
and nodding toward it 
Godmother said : 

"You don't call that 
ugly?" 

Before Betty could 
answer, they had reached 
the end of Westminster 
Bridge and turned on to the 
Embankment. Raised on 
the end parapet of the 
bridge, was a group of 
statues in which the chief 
figure was a woman in flow- 
ing robes furiously driving 
a strange-looking chariot. 
" Do you know what that represents ? " asked Godmother, 
when she saw Betty glance at the monument with interest. 
"It's Queen Boadicea driving into battle. I only want you 
just to remember her name, because you may hear something 
about her later." 

Again Godmother's voice was mysterious, and Betty glanced 
at her, with more curiosity than ever. 

It was delightful to be driving by the side of the river with 




MAGIC LONDON 19 

the spring sunlight sparkling on the water, but she wondered 
where they were going. 

As though she guessed her thought, Godmother said presently, 
" We are going first to drive slowly over London Bridge." 

In a few minutes they were upon it, and the car was threading 
its way among the crowded trafhc, between great vans and 
lorries and taxicabs and the carts and wagons of all sorts that 
rolled along with a ceaseless roar. Betty looked up and down 
the river lined with huge buildings, its surface covered with 
shipping of every kind, and it struck her that London was, after 
all, a wonderful city. At the other end of the bridge, Godmother 
gave Williams, the chauffeur, an order to return, and to stop as 
close as possible to The Monument, that enormously tall pedestal 
near the Bridge, which, as Betty's father had told her, was put 
up in the reign of Charles II. 

" Now I'm going to stay here comfortably in the car while 
you and Williams climb to the top of that column," said God- 
mother, when the chauffeur had driven into a narrow side street. 
" Neither of you will mind the steps, but I certainly should." 

Betty was only too delighted at the prospect, and with 
Williams as escort, she mounted gaily higher and higher, till at 
last the final step was reached, and she stepped out on to the 
caged-in top of the pillar. What a marvellous view it was, of 
miles and miles of streets and houses and domes and spires, 
with the river running like a silver ribbon in the midst ! 

Williams also was impressed. " It's a fine great city, miss 1 " 
he exclaimed. 

"Well?" demanded Godmother, when presently they re- 
turned to the car. " What do you think of London in point 
of size ? " 

" It takes your breath away ! " was Betty's answer, as she 
settled herself comfortably for the homeward drive. 

"It's been lovely," she declared, when they sat down to lunch 
in the quaint parlour below the sitting-room. " I do believe 
I'm going to like London after all, Godmother. It somehow 
seems quite different seeing it with you. I have such a funny 
feeling about it. Just as though it was a sort of magic place 
that might be awfully surprising." 



20 MAGIC LONDON 

Godmother gave her a quick look, but said nothing except 
" I'm glad." 

After the meal, however, when they were once more in the 
white-panelled sitting-room which Betty already loved, she 
exclaimed all at once, " Now I'm going to tell you a 
secret." 

You may imagine how Betty pricked up her ears. But 



ig London. It's a special gift, and I'm not going 
you how I discovered that I possess it. Very, very few people 
have the gift, but from certain signs I think you possess it too. 
Would you like to try ? " 

Betty's face was a study in perplexity. 

" Yes but how ? " she stammered. " I don't understand. 

Instead of explaining, Godmother Strangeways got up, 
and opened the door of a cabinet that stood between two narrow 
square-paned windows, took something from a shelf and, return- 
ing, dropped it into her godchild's hand. 

Betty gazed at the little object. " It's a ring," she began. 
" But a very old one, isn't it ? It's so dark and stained." 

" It's a very old one," said Godmother. " It's a ring once 
worn by a young Roman nobleman. Put it on to your third 
finger." 

Betty obeyed. " Now say these words after me." She 
began to chant very slowly and distinctly certain words which, 
though she did not understand them, her godchild knew to be 
Latin. 

Feeling as though she were in a dream, Betty began to repeat 
them after her, looking meanwhile at the clock on the mantel- 
piece which pointed to three o'clock. 

Outside in the street, a boy was calling " Evening Paper ! 
Evening paper ! " 

His voice was still ringing in her ears when the white-panelled 
room vanished, and she found herself standing in the sunshine 
on the bank of a river. . 



MAGIC LONDON 21 



ROMAN LONDON 

For a moment she felt frightened and lost, till she saw that 
Godmother stood beside her. " Where are we ? What is this 
place ? " she stammered. 
" London." 

Betty thought of the London through which she had driven 
this very day. She saw again the crowded streets, the streams 
of traffic, the long rows of shops, the huge buildings of all sorts ; 
the churches, the banks, the railways. How could this be 
London ? 

She looked down at the long grass on which she was standing, 
grass that sloped to a clear river. On the opposite bank she 
saw something rather like a castle or fortress, a large brick 
building with zigzag battlements and turrets. This castle was 
reached by a bridge made of broad beams resting on piles of wood 
driven into the water, and beyond and on either side of the fort 
she saw, dotted here and there, strange-looking houses, with 
orchards and gardens and fields all about them. 

" We drove over London Bridge this morning, didn't we ? " 
Godmother asked. 

" Yes," murmured Betty, bewildered. 

" Well. There it is ! " Godmother pointed to the bridge 
with its wooden planks and roughly-made railings of wood. 
" The London you know to-day began just about where we are 
standing now," she went on, " and there " again she pointed 
" you see the first bridge that was ever built across the river." 

" Then we're ever so far back in the Past ? " asked Betty. 

" We've gone back to a day four hundred years after the birth 
of Christ." 

Before she had time to realize the strangeness of this, Betty's 
attention was attracted by the most curious-looking boat she had 
ever seen, coming round a bend of the river. It had a high 
curved prow, and it was crowded with men wearing helmets 
that flashed in the sun, short tunics to their knees, and plates 
of brass covering their legs. Two rows of long oars stretched on 
either side of the boat, and as it drew nearer Betty saw that, 



22 



MAGIC LONDON 



though it had a sail, the helmeted soldiers were rowing it, and 
thus making it move very fast. 

" Oh, look ! look ! " she almost shouted. " Who are these 



men 



Roman soldiers, of course," said Godmother. " Remember 
the date. It is 400 years after Christ, and our country (called 
Britain then) has been conquered by, and belongs to, Rome. 




Many Romans have been settled here now for as long as three 
hundred years. That building," she pointed to the Castle, " is 
the fortress where the Roman soldiers live. We shall see them 
disembark in a minute, and go into their barracks. This boat 
of theirs is called a galley, and it was in boats like it that the first 
Roman soldiers came sailing up this river Thames when they 
conquered the country." 

" Yes ! yes ! the boat is stopping ! Now they're going into 
the fortress ! " exclaimed Betty excitedly, as with breathless 



MAGIC LONDON 23 

interest she watched the soldiers being marched along the river 
bank by their officers. 

" Can we go across the bridge ? " she asked a moment 
later. 

" Of course we can. No one sees us. No one hears us. We 
are invisible for as long as we choose to be. Come, well cross 
over to the fortress." 

Dancing with excitement, Betty followed her on to the 
bridge, over which, all the time she and Godmother had been 
standing on the bank, people had been crossing and recrossing. 
They were the strangest-looking folk imaginable, but so far 
she had been too confused and too interested in the soldiers to do 
more than glance at them. 

" Let us stand here a moment, and watch/' Godmother 
suggested, drawing her back against the wooden parapet of the 
bridge. 

" That's a Roman nobleman," she observed, as a fine-looking 
man passed, wearing a tunic, a white cloak wrapped round part 
of his body, the end flung over one shoulder, and sandals made 
of twisted leather. " That's his villa over there." She pointed 
to a house at some little distance set in the midst of blossoming 
fruit-trees. 

" Here's a British merchant coming ! " she went on. " Look 
at his long furry trousers under the cloak, or toga as it is called, 
which he is wearing in imitation of the Romans. He has become 
so ' Romanized ' that he copies the conquerors of his country in 
every possible way." 

" But for all that, he doesn't look a bit like a Roman ! " 
declared Betty, as she stared at the man's red hair, which hung 
to his shoulders. " Oh ! do look at this dear little girl ! " she 
exclaimed almost in the same breath. 

A woman leading a pretty fair-haired child was moving 
towards them. The little girl, who was bare-footed, wore a 
straight gown made of woollen material, dyed blue. She had big 
blue eyes, and her tangled curly hair hung loose about her face. 
All at once, just as she passed them, a coin fell from her hand and, 
dropping through a chink between the planks of the bridge, fell 
into the water with a splash. 



MAGIC LONDON 



The woman, talking angrily in a language that sounded 
strange and barbarous, shook the child, who 'began to cry. 
" Oh, poor little thing ! " said Betty pitifully. " Her mother 
n't be so cross with her ! They're British people, I sup- 



needn' 
pose 



Yes. That was the money to pay the toll at the end of the 




bridge," explained Godmother, " and now it's at the bottom of 
the river." 

But Betty soon forgot the little girl in her interest in watching 
the other people who passed and re-passed, and looking at the 
boats which floated up and down the stream laden with all sorts 
of merchandise. 

" London, as you see, was an important port even in these far- 




THE SLAVK MARKET 



MAGIC LONDON i 

off days, four hundred years after Christ," Godmother remarked. 
" Tin and iron and lead and oysters are going away in some of 
those boats to other countries, and all sorts of things are coming 
in as exchange. . . . Now let us go on to the fortress and climb 
up to the battlements. Fortunately no one will interfere with us, 
and we shall get a good view of the country from the top." 

It was a very weird experience to pass unchallenged into 
the courtyard of the castle, filled with laughing, shouting and 
quarrelling soldiers. These men paid no attention to them, and 
Godmother led the way up a winding stone staircase to a pathway 
on the inner side of the battlements. From this height they 
had a wonderful view over the surrounding country, and as she 
gazed, Betty was lost in amazement. 

The Monument, that great column to the top of which she had 
so recently climbed, was, she remembered, close to London Bridge. 
Therefore she must now be standing near the very same spot as 
that from which only this morning she had looked over London. 
It was an amazing thought. 

She remembered the countless spires and domes and towers 
which rose far above their roofs, and the swarming traffic in all 
the streets. 

Upon what a different scene she looked now ! In place of the 
miles and miles of streets and houses, she saw along a narrow strip 
of the shore, right and left of the wooden bridge, a few steep 
lanes or alleys, lined with poor low dwellings. A few wharves 
and quays stretched along the bank of the river just below. 
There certainly a busy life went on, for men were loading and 
unloading boats. Behind the lanes leading down to the river, 
there was a belt of cultivated land, dotted over with gleaming 
one-storied dwellings which Godmother said were Roman villas, 
and beyond them, enclosing all the cultivated land, rose a strong 
wall with towers at intervals. But behind the wall came a long 
stretch of marshy ground, leading to the edge of a huge forest 
a dark and gloomy and endless forest, clothing a line of hills, 
and stretching away, away, as far as eye could see. 

Godmother was leaning on the parapet beside her. 

" We are facing north now," she said, and added suddenly, 
" You've been to Hampstead Heath, of course ? "' 



f'o MAGIC LONDON 

Betty could not imagine what Hampstead Heath had to do 
with the scene upon which she was gazing, but she said, " Yes, 
we go nearly every Sunday." 

" Well, then, you have seen a tiny bit that is left of that 
great forest in front of you. There's very little ' forest ' about 
Hampstead Heath now, certainly, but such as it is, it is the descen- 
dant of that very one you see before you, which, a thousand years 
ago, stretched for hundreds of miles over this island." 

From the other side of the fortress, to which they presently 
moved, the view was equally strange, for here there was nothing 
to be seen but swampy land, just emerging from the water which 
everywhere surrounded it. 

" We are looking south," Godmother said, " and now that 
you see this great stretch of water right and left, you will under- 
stand why the first name of London was the lake fort." 

" Is that what Llyn-din means ? " Betty asked. 

" Yes. In the British language, Llyn-din means just that, 
and in the Roman language the word became Londinium the 
Fortress on the Lake." 

" I do wish I could speak to some of the people," said Betty, 
after a moment during which she watched the sunlight sparkling 
on the great expanse of water that ran under the oldest of all 
the London Bridges. 

" Well, I can manage that for you. There's no end to magic 
if you once learn how to work it," Godmother added with her 
curious smile. " Let's go down into the market-place." 

Between the houses that sloped down to the river just below, 
there was an open space, and from where she stood, Betty could 
see it was filled by a lively crowd of people, some evidently 
British, others Roman. They were buying and selling, and 
the noise and shouting of the crowd could be plainly heard. 

" What's that large building on the little hill just above the 
market-place ? " Betty asked. 

" That's the Roman Hall of Justice, where people who have 
done wrong are tried, and sentenced to punishment," replied the 
old lady as the child followed her to the top of the steps. 

A few minutes later they stood in the market-place, where 
Betty could have lingered for hours watching the strange crowd. 



MAGIC LONDON 27 

It was by no means entirely made up of Romans and British. 
Many dark-skinned, dark-eyed men from Eastern lands were 
there as well. " They are traders from lands even farther off 
than Rome," Godmother explained. " For London, you know, 
has always been filled with foreign merchants. Some of these 
are buying British slaves to take back with them in their ships 
to their own countries. You see that little group of girls and 
boys over there, wrapped in rough skin coats ? They come from 
a part of Britain beyond the forest, and they have been bought 
by that black-haired man with the turban and the gold ear- 
rings." 

Betty looked at the poor children pityingly as they stood 
huddled together, confused and frightened. It was dreadful to 
think of them being sold as though they were sheep or cows ! 
But her attention was all at once distracted by a boy of about 
her own age, who, having passed quite close, all at once turned 
round and stopped. It was the first time that any one had seen 
her, for up to this moment both she and Godmother had been 
invisible. But it was evident that, to the boy at least, this 
was no longer the case. He smiled, and walking towards her, 
said, " You are a stranger ? You would like to see my father's 
house ? " 

He was a Roman boy, as Betty at once recognized, and 
strangely enough she did not feel it at all odd that she should 
understand his speech, though afterwards she knew it must be 
Latin. At the time, however, she wondered how he guessed that 
she was desperately anxious to go into one of the many Roman 
houses so beautifully set among orchards and gardens. 

" Yes, if you please," was all she could find to say. 

" Come then," said the boy, smiling again pleasantly, but 
paying no heed to Godmother. 

Betty turned to her, puzzled and uncertain, but Godmother 
only laughed. 

7 " Don't trouble about finding me again. It will be all right. 
Go with him, and stay as long as you like. You 11 discover it's 
not so long as you imagine." 

Thus encouraged, Betty very willingly followed her guide. 
He was a handsome boy, dressed very much as the Roman 



28 MAGIC LONDON 

nobleman on the bridge had been clothed, except that the cloak 
he wore over his tunic had a broad purple band round its edge. 
That, as she afterwards learnt from Godmother, being the usual 
dress for Roman boys, for it was not till they were grown up, that 
they wore the tunic without this purple border. 

" That is our villa," he began presently when they came in 
sight of a long one-storied house surrounded by trees and shrubs. 
" My father has much land here, and many farms." 

" Will you tell me your name ? " asked Betty shyly. 

" My name is Lucius. ... I will take you first straight 
through the house," said the boy. By this time they had 
reached its entrance, and Betty caught a beautiful vision of rooms 
divided by pillars, each one opening into the next ; of painted 
ceilings and walls, of coloured stone pavements, of couches with 
purple silk cushions upon them, and pedestals upon which 
statues stood. It was only a flashing glimpse she had of all this, 
and though she saw everything with the greatest distinctness, she 
was somehow conscious that none of it was actually real ; that 
even Lucius was not really alive, even while she saw him as 
plainly as though he had been flesh and blood. Deep down in her 
mind, she knew that everything she saw and heard, was what had 
once existed but was over and done with long, long ago, and was 
only revived for a moment. 

And yet everything looked so real. Just as this sad feeling 
came to her, she was walking over a pavement made of small 
coloured stones fitted together to make a pattern. This she 
knew was called mosaic work, and she noticed the design of it, 
which was that of a woman seated on the back of some animal 
in the centre of the pavement. 

By the time she had walked through the villa and out of it 
upon a terrace overlooking the country, Betty had a confused 
idea of great luxury and beauty, displayed in a very different 
sort of house from any she had ever seen before. 

" Ask me any questions you like," said Lucius presently. 
But Betty scarcely knew where to begin. 

" This country is called Britain, isn't it ? " she said at last, 
remembering her history. " And you Roman people conquered 
it? " 



MAGIC LONDON 



29 
Four 



" We did," answered the boy, smiling. " Long ago. 
hundred years ago." 

" And the British people are not angry about it anymore ? " 

"No. Why should they be ? Every thing is peaceful now." 

" But at first there was fighting, I suppose ? " 

" Long and bitter fighting," said Lucius. " There is a story, 

which I believe is true, that when my ancestors first came to 

Britain, more than three hundred years ago, there was a British 

Queen who led men to battle against us. She actually took and 




burnt this town of Londinium which was then, however, much 
smaller and less important than it is now." 

" Boadicea ! " thought Betty, remembering in a flash the 
statue on Westminster Bridge. 

But Lucius was again speaking. " My own family has been 
settled here nearly two hundred years. It was my great-grand- 
father who built this villa, and he was born in Londinium." 

" We call it London," murmured Betty. But Lucius did not 
seem to hear her. " Then I suppose it was a good thing for 
the British to be conquered ? " she inquired. 

The boy laughed. " Without doubt. They were savages 
when we came, and we've taught them everything. From us 



30 MAGIC LONDON 

they've learnt how to till the land," he nodded towards a field. 
" Those are British labourers working there now. They've learnt 
how to make roads after our famous Roman plan. You can see 
one of our roads from this corner of the terrace. And how to 
build houses and ships, and work in metal and do a thousand 
other things. Some of them have grown rich, and have been 
educated, so that they are as good scholars now as we are. Al- 
ready Londinium is a famous port to which foreign merchants 
come bringing riches. My father says it will some day be a great 
city, equal to any city in the world." 

" It has become a great city ! " exclaimed Betty to herself, 
remembering the London she knew. It was sad to think that if 
she had spoken aloud, the boy would not have understood her, 
and she hastened to ask another question. 

" Are these British people Christians ? " 

" Oh yes ! " said Lucius. " Ever since we became Christians 
ourselves, you know. Of course when my ancestors first came 
here, they themselves were pagans. They worshipped gods and 
goddesses like Apollo and Venus. But that 's a hundred years ago . 
Now Londinium is a Christian city, and we're teaching the British 
to be Christians also. It's rather difficult though, because a great 
many of them cling to their old gods. Still, most of them at least 
call themselves Christians." 

" Do you like living in this country in Britain ? " asked 
Betty after a moment. 

" Oh yes. It's my home. I was born here. But I should 
like to go to Rome the city from which my great-grandfather 
came when he settled here, and built this villa. Perhaps I shall, 
some day," he went on dreamily. " My father often says we 
may have to go back to our own land. There are troubles there. 
The barbarians are growing stronger and stronger, and some 
day Rome will need all the fighting men she can get to defend 
her." 

" But the British will have no one to defend them if you 
go," objected Betty. 

Lucius shrugged his shoulders. " No, poor things. Their 
state will be very desperate if enemies come to invade them when 
we are gone. ..." 



MAGIC LONDON 31 

Betty scarcely listened to the end of his sentence, for she had 
made a discovery which interested her too much. On his third 
finger Lucius wore the very ring which not long ago had been 
in her own hand ! But before she could exclaim, Betty found 
herself standing once more upon London Bridge, with her God- 
mother beside her, and strangely enough Godmother was repeat- 
ing almost the very words the boy had just uttered ! 

" Poor things ! They little know what a terrible time is 
before their children's children ! " 

" You mean the British ? When the Romans have gone ? " 
said Betty, who by this time was beginning to accept all the 
strange things that were happening without much surprise. 

" Yes. In a few years that villa you have just seen, and 
all the other beautiful Roman houses, will have dropped into 
decay. There will be no one left in London except perhaps a 
handful of British slaves, and most of them will have to flee to 
that forest over there, to escape from the murderous people who 
will overrun this island. ..." 

The people were still passing to and fro upon London Bridge, 
as Betty gazed about her. The sunlight was still sparkling on 
the river, and from the fortress came the sound of the tramping 
feet of the soldiers. 

" There's a little boat just putting off," said Godmother. 
" The man in it is going to fish higher up the river. We'll step 
in with him. It's a great advantage to be invisible ! " she added, 
smiling, as they hurried down to the bank. 

It was strange nevertheless to be seated opposite a shaggy- 
haired, bare-legged fisherman, who took no notice of them, but 
as the boat glided on, Betty was soon so interested in the scenery 
they were passing that she almost forgot the silent man who 
was rowing them. Very soon they had passed all the gardens 
and orchards on the banks, and now on either side there was 
nothing but a waste of water with here and there a low reed- 
covered island just showing above its level. 

" We are now passing under Westminster Bridge," observed 
Godmother presently. " On our left is St. Thomas's Hospital 
and Lambeth Palace, and on our right the Houses of Parliament, 
with Westminster Abbey behind it." 



32 MAGIC LONDON 

Betty stared. She thought Godmother must be joking. 

" Perfectly true," the old lady assured her in answer to her 
smile. " On that island just above the water on the right, in 
another six hundred years, Westminster Abbey will rise." 

Betty heard the gurgling of the water as it washed between 
the reeds and bulrushes of the island, and as she thought of the 
beautiful Cathedral under whose shadow her godmother's house 
stood, it seemed a miracle that such a change could have taken 
place. 

" Human beings are rather wonderful, aren't they ? " re- 
marked Godmother, smiling, as though she read her thoughts. 
" They drain wet land and make it useful for growing food, or 
for buildings. They bore tunnels through solid rocks. They 
build bridges over rivers, and do a thousand things to alter the 
world for their own convenience. Who could have imagined 
that this great London of ours, the largest city in the world, 
could have grown up from this ? " Godmother waved her 
hand towards the swamps and streams, east, west and south 
of where they sat rocking in the boat beside the swampy 
island. 

" Just think of it ! " she exclaimed after a moment's silence. 
" This marsh, and that forest to the north, and all the open 
land as far as we can see in every direction, is now covered with 
streets and shops, with churches and schools and railway stations, 
and is the dwelling-place of millions of people." 

"It's almost as wonderful as this magic way of seeing it as 
it used to be ! " declared Betty. " Tell me again how far back 
in the Past we are ? " 

" All this is one thousand five hundred years ago," said 
Godmother softly. 

The fisherman had tied up his boat to a stake driven into 
the shore of the island, where later the great Cathedral of West- 
minster was to stand. The sun was setting, the water was a sheet 
of gold and crimson, and above the island a flight of birds rose 
suddenly with shrill cries. . . . The next second they stood in 
the white-panelled parlour. 

" Oh ! " cried Betty, rubbing her eyes. She glanced at the 
clock on the mantelpiece. " Why ! " she stammered, " it was 



MAGIC LONDON 33 

three o'clock the last time I saw it, and it's still three. It must 
have stopped ! " 

Godmother shook her head. " It hasn't stopped. Time is 
almost as magic a thing as " 

" As all we've seen," put in Betty eagerly. " Oh, God- 
mother, it has been wonderful ! But no one will ever believe it." 

" Don't try to make them," replied Godmother. " You'll 
find it quite easy not to," she added with her queer little smile. 
Then as the bell rang, " Here comes your maid to fetch you." 

" Oh, but this isn't the end of the magic ? You'll let me 
come again ? You'll let me see how London goes on ? " Betty 
implored. 

11 To-morrow I'm going to take you to a Museum," returned 
the old lady. " I don't think you'll find it dull," she said com- 
fortingly, as Betty's face fell. " I shall fetch you at three o'clock, 
and mind you don't keep me waiting." 



A FAIRY TALE MUSEUM 

Punctually at three o'clock next day, Godmother's pretty 
little car pulled up at the door of Betty's home in Chelsea, and a 
few minutes later she was driving away with her. 

" Well ! " began Godmother, as she observed a curious expres- 
sion upon the face of her godchild, " did you try explaining to 
people all you saw yesterday ? " 

" Why, Godmother, till I caught sight of you just now, I'd 
forgotten all about it ! " exclaimed Betty, breathless with sur- 
prise. " I mean I'd forgotten all the magic part about the ring 
and actually going back to see London as it was when the Romans 
were here," she explained. " I kept wondering why I had a 
picture in my mind of London as it looked then. I simply 
couldn't think how it was I knew, and I've only just remem- 
bered." 

" I told you that it wouldn't be difficult to keep the secret/' 
returned Godmother, laughing. 

" Oh, it's a lovely secret ! " Betty exclaimed. " Where are 
we going now ? " 



34 MAGIC LONDON 

"I'm taking you to a Museum. But as you will see, it is, in 
its own way, a sort of fairy-tale place. A beautiful house, called 
Lancaster House, close to St. James's Palace, has been turned 
into a kind of treasure-palace, containing all sorts of things that 
have to do with London from the very earliest times up to the 
present day. It is called The London Museum, and you ought to 
find it even more fascinating than it appears to most other 
people." 

" I generally hate Museums," said Betty frankly. " But 
then I've never been to one with you before." 

" You won't hate this one," was Godmother's reply. They 
were driving down St. James's Street now, and in a few moments 
the car stopped before a stately-looking house quite near to the 
old Palace of St. James. 

" Now," said Godmother, as they went up the steps, " the 
way to see Museums is to look at a very little at a time, so, though 
this place is full of interesting things, I'm only going to show you 
one or two of them. First of all, we go downstairs into the 
basement." 

, Betty followed her to the left of an entrance hall from which a 
grand staircase rose, into a corridor whose windows gave her a 
glimpse of a pretty green garden ; then down a flight of steps 
into a big hall below. The floor of this had been hollowed out 
to look rather like a swimming-bath, but instead of water, the 
hollow was filled up by the skeleton of a great wooden boat. It 
was black with age, broken and battered, but the pieces had 
been carefully fitted together, so that one might at least guess 
how it looked more than a thousand years ago, when it was new. 
"It's a Roman galley ! " cried Betty, who had recently seen 
one, not ancient and decayed, but actually floating upon the 
Thames. In her excitement she scarcely knew whether to look 
first at the ancient boat, or at the picture which filled the end 
wall just above it, and showed a galley rowed by Roman soldiers. 

" I see ! I see ! " she cried eagerly. " That's how the man 
who painted that picture imagined it looked when it was new, 
ages ago ? He hasn't imagined it badly, has he, Godmother ? 
The boat is just passing the fortress, and it's very much 
like the one we really went up, isn't it ? And he's made the 



MAGIC LONDON 35 

river clear, with grassy banks, just as it was. And the soldiers 
are quite good too. They did look like that ! Oh ! Godmother, 
how did they find this boat ? " 

" Here's a notice that will tell you. It was dug up, you see, 
a few years ago in 1910, to be precise when men were at work 
on a road in Lambeth." 

"Under a road ? " echoed Betty. "But how did it get there ? " 

" Have you forgotten already what you saw yesterday ? 
Don't you remember that the Thames then spread out all over 
what is now Lambeth as well as over Westminster on the oppo- 
site bank ? This boat was found in what then was the bed of 
the river, and is now land covered with buildings." 

" Yes, I understand. Oh, Godmother, do you think it could 
be the very galley we saw ? Perhaps it is ! " 

Godmother smiled. "I'm afraid not. It is thought that 
this galley was sunk a hundred years or so earlier than the one 
we saw when we stood on the first London Bridge. But it must 
have been very like it." 

Betty looked up again at the picture. " It shows a piece of 
the wall that went round London," she said, gazing at it with 
interest. " And in the background there is the great forest. 
Oh, I think the painter has imagined it very well." 

" Considering that he hadn't our magic advantage I think he 
has," agreed Godmother. 

Betty was silent a moment, looking down thoughtfully at 
the remains of the poor battered galley which once sailed so 
proudly on London's river, filled with soldiers, their armour and 
helmets glittering in the sunshine of long ago. There were other 
things in this basement hall that looked interesting, but God- 
mother would not let her stay to examine them. 

" We will go upstairs now," she said. So up the narrow 
staircase they went, into the corridor again, and thence to a 
room with Roman London painted over the door. 

No sooner had Betty entered it than she gave a little cry and 
stood staring at the end wall, where a sort of picture in mosaic 
work was hanging, filling up its whole space. 

" That was in the villa that belonged to Lucius ! " she 
exclaimed. " I remember it quite well. It was the pavement 



36 MAGIC LONDON 

of one of the rooms. There's the lady riding on that funny 
animal's back with the border round her, just as I saw it. Oh, 
Godmother ! Just fancy its being here after all these years and 
years." 

" It is wonderful," said Godmother. " How many of the 
thousands of people who every day hurry along the streets near 
London Bridge either know or remember that deep down under 
their feet lies a buried Roman city ? Every now and then a 
fragment of it, like this one, is dug up. But there must be much, 
much more hidden far beneath houses and shops and roads where 
trams and omnibuses roll and rattle. By the way," she added, 
" if you want to see the actual piece of pavement that was in the 
villa ' that belonged to Lucius ' we shall have to go to the British 
Museum. This one is only a copy of it." 

" I shall go one day," Betty answered. " I should like to 
see the very pavement I walked on. I'm luckier than any of 
the children in London," she added with a little chuckle of 
delight. 

" Now look at some of the things in these cases," advised 
Godmother. "You will find them just as interesting." 

Betty obediently examined the contents of one of the glass 
boxes the room contained, and soon found occasion for a fresh 
excitement. On a label beside a collection of battered coins, she 
read: Found in the river bed near the present London Bridge. 
Instantly a scene rose in her mind of a little fair-haired girl 
crying and looking down through the chinks of a wooden bridge 
into the shining water. 

" Oh, Godmother, perhaps one of them is the very coin that 
poor little girl dropped when her mother was so angry with her ? " 
she cried. 

" Perhaps," said Godmother. " She dropped it one thousand 
five hundred years ago, and that's about the date of this group 
of coins." 

" How do people know that ? " 

" By the inscriptions on them, we discover which emperor 
was ruling in Rome, and in that way we are often able to fix the 
date at which the money was in use." 

In another moment Betty had discovered other things in the 



MAGIC LONDON 37 

cases which took her thoughts back to the " magic " experience. 
These were ornamental pins for the hair, combs, and other toilet 
articles which must once have been pretty and shining, but were 
dull and rusty now from long burial in the earth. She thought 
of the glimpse she had had of a bedroom (perhaps belonging to 
the mother of Lucius), in which such things as these were lying 
on a marble table. In fact, everything she saw in the cases 
reminded her of Roman London, with its beautiful villas and 
gardens, now buried and almost as forgotten as though they had 
never existed. And she sighed. 

"It's very sad to think of," she said. 

" Yes," answered Godmother in an understanding voice. 
" But the life of London still goes on, even though it's a different 
life, and Roman London is forgotten." They were standing by 
the window of the room, and beyond the garden upon which it 
looked, in the road outside St. James's Park, people were walk- 
ing, children running, and taxicabs and motor-cars swept past 
in a constant stream. 

" When the Romans lived here, all this " she waved her 
hand towards the Park and the busy road "was a dreary swamp, 
impossible for human existence. Now you see it the home and 
pleasure-ground of thousands of people whose turn it is to enjoy 
the sunshine, the blue sky, and all the pleasant things the Romans 
and the British who lived side by side in this London of ours, 
enjoyed long ago." 

" This may be a Museum, but it's an awfully nice one," 
declared Betty, as she and Godmother walked back towards the 
corridor. " It wouldn't be dull, even without the magic. But that 
makes it a hundred times more fascinating, of course. Can't we 
look at some other things ? " 

" The only other thing I'm going to show you to-day, is a 
certain picture," returned Godmother. " But before we look at 
it, I must explain a little, or you won't understand it." 

They found a seat in the corridor, and she began at once. 

" You will remember that when we saw London yesterday, 
on our magic journey into the Past, I told you we were very 
near the end of the Romans' stay in Britain. Soon afterwards 
they had to go back to fight against enemies in their own land, 



38 MAGIC LONDON 

and you know what happened when the British were left unpro- 
tected ? " 

" Enemies came to fight against them." 

" And who were those enemies ? " 

" The Jutes and the Angles and the Saxons," replied Betty, 
who was quite good at history. 

" Yes, those names are all right ; but the chief thing to 
remember about them is that they were our forefathers, and that 
before long they were known as the English people. This island, 
once called Britain, became England, and the original inhabitants 
those British among whom the Romans lived though they 
were not entirely driven out of the country, were hunted as far 
west as they could go, and received a different name." 

" I remember ! " cried Betty, nodding. " They are called 
the Welsh now, and they live in Wales." 

" Well, for the future, in thinking about London, let us leave 
them there, remembering that though nowadays we scarcely 
know Welsh from our own countrymen, they are not our country- 
men. They are of a different race, the descendants of the 
British, and though nearly all of them now talk in English, their 
native language is quite different from ours. It is really the old 
British language. Now, for goodness' sake, get that clearly into 
your mind, and never let me hear you muddle up the British 
with the English, in the annoying way of most children ! " con- 
cluded Godmother in her sharpest voice. 

" I won't. I promise," Betty said, laughing, for she was 
getting quite used to Godmother, and was no longer afraid of 
her. 

" Very well, then. Now you're ready to look at the picture. 
Come along." 

Betty followed her down a corridor till she stopped before 
one of several pictures hung in a line. It represented a group 
of wild-looking men standing beneath the walls of a city which 
Betty at once saw was meant to represent the London or Lon- 
dinium of the Romans. 

" You must imagine that the scene shown by this picture, is 
about a hundred years after the Romans had gone," said God- 
mother. " Those great strong men looking up at London Wall 



MAGIC LONDON 39 

are our forefathers, the English. Awful things have been hap- 
pening for the past hundred years ; terrible fighting between 
these invaders and the British, who by now are being everywhere 
defeated and driven farther and farther west. The Englishmen 
in the picture, have come suddenly into sight of a walled city 
that looks dangerous to approach. They are hesitating. One 
of them is blowing his horn to see whether any defenders will 
appear upon the battlements. No answer comes to the loud 
blast, and the warriors will presently rush at that gate, batter 
it down and enter. To their amazement they will find within, 
beautiful houses such as they have never seen or imagined. But 
all of them are empty and dropping into decay. They will see 
the ruined gardens and orchards of buildings the use of which 
they can't even guess. For many, many years London has lain 
deserted, because on account of the fighting in the country all 
round, no food could reach it, and all its people have fled. Won- 
dering and afraid, believing, no doubt, all these decaying remains 
of luxury to be some magic device of demons, those rough 
warriors will hurry away from the silent city, leaving it to fall 
into still deeper ruin." 

" Poor London ! " said Betty. " But how did it ever wake 
up again ? " 

" It had to wait till the worst of the fighting was over before 
it was occupied again this time by a different race the English 
race. Then London once more came to life. But by this time 
probably nearly the whole of the Roman buildings had dis- 
appeared, and become buried under the first rough English houses 
where the new race of men lived who once more made the city 
into a thriving port." 

" And these English people forgot all about the Romans, I 
suppose ? " 

" They never knew them, you see. Even the few British 
who were left (the descendants of those who had lived under 
Roman rule), only had legends about them. They used the great 
roads the Romans had made, but they called them by new 
names English names. Watling Street, for instance, was the 
name they gave to the great Roman road that led northwards 
out of London. It is now partly Oxford Street and partly 



40 MAGIC LONDON 

Edgware Road. Roman London disappeared as though it had 
never been, till bits of it, ages later, were, and are, being dug 
up." 

" Then didn't the Romans ever have anything to do with 
the English at all ? " 

" They had a great deal to do with them later on. For 
one thing, as you ought to remember, they converted them to 
Christianity." 

" Oh yes, of course. St. Augustine came from Rome, didn't 
he, and taught the English to be Christians ? But that was 
a long time afterwards." 

" When we see London again, it will be a Christian city once 
more, just as it was when you and I looked down upon it from 
the Roman fortress." 

" Only the people in it will be English instead of British 
and Roman," said Betty. " Oh, Godmother, when shall we 
see it the ' magic ' way again ? " 

" All in good time," was Godmother's reply, as she looked 
at her watch. " I shall just have time to show you one little 
bit of Roman London which remains to this day just where the 
Romans left it," she added. 

" Not in a museum then ? " 

" No. It's in the very midst of London, at the back of a 
modern hotel. You shall see it first, and I'll tell you what I 
can about it, afterwards." 

" Stop at Strand Lane, close to Aldwych Tube Station in the 
Strand," was Godmother's direction to the chauffeur. 

They were soon there, and Betty wonderingly followed the 
old lady down a winding, narrow road between houses, till she 
stopped before an ordinary-looking back-door, near which a board 
hung, with the words Roman Bath upon it. In another moment 
Betty was in a vaulted room, gazing down at what seemed to 
be a little swimming-bath. It was paved and lined with marble 
slabs, but these did not reach quite to the top, and a rim of 
ancient bricks was visible. 

" Once upon a time, two thousand years ago, perhaps," said 
Godmother, " there was a Roman villa on this spot, and here is 
the very bath belonging to it ! Under those steps that go down 



MAGIC LONDON 41 

into the bath, there is a spring of water, constantly bubbling 
up the same spring that filled it in Roman days." 

" And Roman people bathed here ages ago ! " exclaimed 
Betty. 

" It seems wonderful, doesn't it ? But there is the bath 
that they built nearly two thousand years ago. The water that 
fills it, comes from a stream forming a well, which in the Middle 
Ages was called Holy Well. Only a very few years ago there 




was a street over there, on the other side of the Strand, 
called Holy well Street, because it was built over the old 
well." 

" It's awfully interesting to see something Roman that's not 
in a Museum," observed Betty. "And now I can so easily 
imagine the sort of villa that was here," she added. " It had 
gardens round it where all these houses go down to the river, 
and the people who lived in it, saw only fields and forests, 
and swampy land where now there are miles and miles of 



42 MAGIC LONDON 

streets and London houses. Oh, it is wonderful to think 
about ! " 

But Godmother was again consulting her watch, and in a 
moment or two Betty was being driven in the car back to her 
home in Chelsea. 



II 
The Middle Ages 

THE LONDON OF DICK WHITTINGTON 

ALL the week, Betty went to a High School, but Saturday 
was a whole holiday, and greatly to her satisfaction, it 
was arranged that she should spend her Saturdays with 
Godmother. 

It was just a week since she had visited the London of Roman 
times, but not till the following Saturday, when she actually saw 
her Godmother, did the memory of " the magic part " come 
back to her. 

" It's so exciting to remember the secret directly I see you ! " 
she exclaimed. " How far back are we going to-day ? Oh, do 
let us begin at once, without wasting a single instant." 

Godmother laughed. " We won't waste a single instant 
certainly. But you're not going back into the Past till this 
afternoon. I've ordered the car, and we shall drive again into 
the City." 

By " the City " Betty knew she meant all the business part 
of London, to which thousands of people went every day to 
work in offices or warehouses. 

" Why is only this crowded part of London called the City ? " 
she asked presently when they were driving through bustling 
streets near St. Paul's. " I should have thought the whole of 
London was a city ? " 

"So it is," returned Godmother. " But as it all gradually 
spread, east and west, north and south, from London Bridge, it 
has become usual to speak of this busiest and earliest part of it 

43 



44 MAGIC LONDON 

as the City, and of all the rest by different names, such as the 
West End, North London, South London, and so forth. It's 
such a huge place, you see, that such divisions as these are 
necessary." 

" Now we're coming to London Bridge. I'm glad we're going 
over it again," Betty said presently, as they passed the Monu- 
ment from which the previous week she had looked far and 
wide. 

" We will drive very slowly, and I want you to notice several 
buildings that can be seen from the bridge." 

" There's the Tower ! " said Betty, looking to the left, where 
the solid square of the main building, with a tower at each corner, 
was visible. " And there's St. Paul's," she added, turning to 
the right, and gazing at its dome and cross. 

" Look at all these wharves and warehouses lining each bank 
of the river, with the great cranes hanging from them," advised 
Godmother. " I want you to remember this scene. Try to get 
a clear picture of it in your mind." 

Betty looked with interest at the crowded shipping below 
the bridge, and at the bales of goods, some being lowered into 
boats, others hoisted up into the warehouses. She saw how, left 
and right, the river was spanned by bridges, and how, as far as 
she could see, warehouses and quays stretched in a continuous 
line, while smoke from thousands of factory chimneys rose into 
the air. 

" Now we are on the south side of the river," said Godmother, 
when the end of the bridge was reached. " All this district is 
called Southwark, and beyond it there are miles of dingy streets 
and houses, making up the parts of London called Bermondsey 
and Newington and Camberwell, and so forth. But it's houses, 
houses, and most of them ugly houses /all the way. That black, 
dingy bridge overhead, spanning the road, belongs to London 
Bridge railway station." 

" But here's one beautiful place at least ! " Betty remarked, 
pointing to the right, where a fine church was hemmed in between 
walls of hideous sheds and other buildings belonging to the 
railway. A narrow churchyard, with a flagged path across it, 
separated the church from these ugly dirty surroundings, and a 



THE MIDDLE AGES 45 

few trees just breaking into leaf showed brilliantly green against 
its ancient walls. 

" Yes, I particularly want you to notice that church. It's 
called St. Saviour's, Southwark. Look at it well, and don't 
forget its name. We'll go back now to the north end of the 
bridge, and drive a little way along that street which runs beside 
the river towards the Tower." 

" Thames Street," murmured Betty, reading its name on the 
wall as they turned into it. 

So crowded was this particular street, so full of heavy lorries 
and wagons outside its warehouses, that they were soon obliged 
to leave it, and drive into Cheapside, quite close, but farther back 
from the river. Through St. Paul's Churchyard, down Ludgate 
Hill into Fleet Street they drove, and straight on down the 
Strand. 

" There's the Savoy Hotel, and the Savoy Theatre next to it, 
where I saw ' Alice in Wonderland ' once," observed Betty, as 
they passed these buildings. 

" Remember that also," said Godmother, " and try to get 
some of the names of the streets into your head. These streets, 
I mean, that lead out of the Strand. All of them, you see, go 
down to the river." 

Betty had already noticed some of them, as the car passed, 
and had murmured their names. They were soon in White- 
hall now, with the well-known Abbey in sight, and therefore near 
home. 

" Westminster Hall," said Godmother, when they passed the 
Houses of Parliament. She pointed to its long sloping roof, and 
added, " That's one of the buildings you must remember." 

Every time Godmother drew her special attention to some- 
thing, Betty gave a little smile of excitement, for she knew she 
would see that particular place or building again by magic. 
And the magic made all the difference. 

It was two or three hours later before she followed Godmother 
into the white-panelled room. 

" Oh, I do hope it will be nice this time ! " she exclaimed, 
full of excited anticipation. 



46 MAGIC LONDON 

Godmother laughed as she went to the cabinet. 

" Last Saturday the talisman was a Roman ring. What is it 
going to be now ? " Betty asked, as her godmother selected 
two objects from the cabinet. One she saw was an old book, 
the other, when she held it in her hand, she found to be a 
beautifully engraved gold chain. 

" This book," said Godmother, " was written by a poet 
Geoffrey Chaucer by name who lived more than five hundred 
years ago. You will discover to whom the chain once belonged, 
later on. Now, shut your eyes, hold the chain in both hands, 
and say, after me, these words written by old Chaucer, five hundred 
years ago." 

Betty obeyed, and repeated slowly after Godmother : 

"... When that the month of May 
Is comen, and that I hear the foules sing, 
And that the floures ginnen for to spring, 
Farewell my booke and my devotion. . . ." 

" Open your eyes," said Godmother, after a silence. " We 
have gone back to the year 1388. Richard the Second is king. 
This is London Bridge, and it is May Day." 

Betty's eyes, now wide open, wandered right and left. The 
London she looked upon, was completely changed from the 
scene she had beheld on her last magic visit. Gone were the 
Roman villas, gone the fortress, gone the Roman Hall of Justice. 
But the wall that had then encircled the city or one very like 
it was still there, for from where she stood, she could see parts 
of it, with its massive gates at intervals opening into the green 
country beyond. The bridge on which she stood, was now built 
of stone, firm and strong. At either end, stood fortified towers, 
with gates, and in the middle of the bridge, was a beautiful little 
Chapel. Leaning over the parapet, Betty saw that the chapel 
was in two parts, one built above the other, and from the lower 
one, steps descended into the water. 

" We'll look at the people as they pass, before I tell you how 
all this change has come about," Godmother said. And indeed 
the people were interesting and picturesque enough to occupy 
all Betty's attention. 



THE MIDDLE AGES 



47 



" How gay they are ! What beautiful coloured clothes they 
wear ! " she cried. " Oh, Godmother, do look at this young 
man coming. Isn't he splendid ? " 

She pointed to a boy of eighteen or nineteen who came 
swinging along the bridge, dressed in a short tunic edged with 
fur, and embroidered all over with flowers. The tunic had long 
wide hanging sleeves tapering to a point which almost reached 
the young gallant's knee. He wore long green silk stockings, 
boots ending in a peak, 
and his crimped fair hair 
fell on either side of his 
face down to his shoulders. 

" What a lot of monks 
there are ! " she exclaimed, 
when the beautiful youth 
had gone by. Some of 
these were in rough grey 
habits with a knotted rope 
round their waists ; others 
wore white robes under a 
black cloak, and there were 
many of them going to and 
fro upon the bridge. 

" The grey ones are the 
Franciscans, or Grey Friars, 
and those with the black 
cloak are the Dominicans, 
or Black Friars," Godmother told her. ..." Here is an old 
countrywoman coming in from the southern gate with her 
butter and eggs ! Doesn't she look comfortable ? " 

She was a stout old lady, with folds of white linen round her 
neck drawn up on either side of her face under a flat broad- 
brimmed hat. Her woollen skirt was very short, showing scarlet 
stockings and buckled shoes, and she carried an enormous basket 
on one arm. 

" That white linen arrangement round her face is called a 
wimple," said Godmother. " Nuns, if you remember, still wear 
the same sort of thing." 




4 8 



MAGIC LONDON 



" She isn't a bit like a nun though/' laughed Betty, watch- 
ing the fat old woman as she waddled past her. 

The next moment her attention was attracted by a group of 
children who came running along the bridge shouting and sing- 
ing. They all had flowers in their hands, and some of the little 
ones wore wreaths of bluebells or primroses. 

" Oh ! don't they look pretty ! " exclaimed Betty in delight. 
" And they must have picked the flowers in the fields and woods 
just outside that gate at the end of the bridge," she added. 

" You remember what is at the end of the bridge as we saw 




it this morning ? A railway station, and a railway arch over an 
ugly street, with miles and miles of streets beyond. The Church 
of St. Saviour's, was the only beautiful thing visible a change 
indeed," said Godmother. 

Betty watched the children and looked at their clothes with 
the greatest interest. The little girls wore frocks looped up on 
one side over a girdle, some of the boys had long stockings and 
short tunics and wore tiny capes of linen, with a hood buttoned 
under the chin. 

The whole merry party presently ran into one of the recesses 
of the bridge where there was plenty of room, and began to 
play a singing game, dancing as they sang. 



THE MIDDLE AGES 49 

Though some of the words sounded strange in Betty's ears, 
she understood most of them, and the verses of the song, if they 
were put into the English to which we are now accustomed, 
would run something after this fashion : 

" London Bridge is broken down, 
Dance over, my Lady Lee ; 
London Bridge is broken down 
With a gay ladee. 

How shall we build it up again ? 
Dance over, my Lady Lee ; 
How shall we' build it up again ? 
With a gay ladee. 

Build it up with stone so strong, 
Dance over, my Lady Lee, 
Then Twill last for ages long 
With a gay ladee." 

" That song is old even now in this year 1388," said God- 
mother. " The great-grandmothers of these children may have 
sung it. It probably celebrated the time when the last of the 
timber bridges was broken down in a storm, and this stone one, 
upon which we are standing, was built in its place about the 
time when Richard the First was reigning." 

" And we are in the reign of Richard the Second now, nearly 
two hundred years later," Betty replied. 

" The children are right when they say London Bridge will 
last for ages long," Godmother remarked. " It lasted more than 
six hundred years almost to our own time. My Grandfather, 
for instance, Betty, was born the year this Bridge upon which 
we are standing, was pulled down, and the one you saw this 
morning, built." 

But Betty's eyes were still fixed on the children who at 
intervals in their game ran to offer their bunches of flowers to 
the passers-by, shouting " May Day ! May Day ! " 

Presently one little girl with a pretty voice, began to sing (in 
words which were nearly, though not altogether, like the English 
of our own day) a little song which, written down, was this : 

D 



50 MAGIC LONDON 

" Summer is icumen in ; 
Lhude sing cuccu ! 
Groweth sed, and bloweth med, 
And springeth the wude nu 

Sing cuccu ! " 

It was easy to put this into modern English, and Betty knew 
what it meant : 

" Summer is a-coming in ; 
Loud sings cuckoo ! 
Groweth seed, and bloweth mead, 
And springeth the wood new. 

Sing cuckoo ! " 

" That's the first verse of a song that is more than a hundred 
years old even in this year 1388 to which we've gone back," 
said Godmother. " Yet you can understand it pretty well, 
can't you ? It shows how near to the language we speak to-day, 
the speech of the fourteenth century is growing." 

" Yes. And isn't it lovely for those children to hear the 
cuckoo and pick flowers just on the other side of London Bridge ? 
Oh, I wish the country came right up to the City now like 
this," sighed Betty, nodding towards the fields and woods that 
made a green belt close behind the wall. 

" Godmother ! " she exclaimed suddenly, pointing to a sort 
of castle near the river bank. " There's something I know ! 
Why, surely it's the Tower of London ? Only there's not so 
much of it as there is now," she added. 

" Yes, it's the Tower right enough three hundred years old 
already in 1388, and eight hundred years old in our own time. 
But now, my dear, before you get too distracted by all you're 
seeing and hearing, I'm going to take you in here to talk history 
for a few minutes." 

Betty followed her into the porch of the chapel on the Bridge, 
where they sat down on a bench out of sight of all the gay life 
outside. 

" We left London," Godmother began, " empty and deserted, 
with a group of our Saxon ancestors whom we may call English 



THE MIDDLE AGES 51 

people, standing uncertainly outside the walls built round the 
city by the departed Romans. What happened next ? " 

" Those English people settled in London, and in time made 
it alive and busy again." 

Godmother nodded. " And what became of the British who 
used to live here ? " 

" They were driven West, into Wales, and are the Welsh 
people now." 

" Yes. And then ? " 

Betty reflected. " Oh ! Why, the Danes came, didn't they ? 
Yes. The English king, Alfred the Great, fought against them. 
And then afterwards the Normans came and conquered England. 
And they spoke French ! . . . I don't see why you call those 
Saxon people who stood outside London, our ancestors, God- 
mother ? Because we must be all mixed up with the Danes 
and the Normans especially with the Normans, who were quite 
different, and had a different language. So I don't understand 
how those first English could be our ancestors exactly ? " 

" I'll tell you how. When you say the Normans spoke a 
different language, you're right. But in saying they were 
' quite different,' you're wrong. What does the word Norman 
mean ? Merely a Northman. They came from the same northern 
countries as the English, and were originally of the same race. 
The reason they spoke French, was, that for two or three hundred 
years before they came to England they had been living in the 
north of France. But when they conquered this island and 
settled down here, what happened? Did the English people 
learn to speak the language of their conquerors ? Far from it. 
The conquerors learnt to speak the tongue of the men they con- 
quered, ' mixed up,' as you say, with some of their own French. 
Three hundred years after William the First landed, the people 
conquerors and conquered alike have become one people, speak- 
ing one language, the English language. Altered, of course, 
from the kind of language spoken by those wild-looking men 
blowing their horns outside London walls. If you had heard 
them talking, you wouldn't have understood a word (even though 
it was the foundation of the English we talk to-day). But now, 
in this year 1388, three hundred years after the Norman Con- 



52 MAGIC LONDON 

quest, you can understand most of it, can't you ? Out of the 
mixture of the Norman's French and the English people's early 
English, has come the language we now speak. Well, now that 
the history lesson is over, let us see all we can of the London 
the poet Chaucer knew in the reign of Richard the Second. We 
may even meet Chaucer himself if we're lucky ! " she added. 
" I want to see the Tower," said Betty. " Dad took me 




there once. But it looked different, from the Tower we can see 
from this bridge." 

" That's because parts have been added to it since the reign 
of Richard the Second. But you saw the keep, or White Tower, 
as it is called, when you went with your father the other day. 
That keep, or central tower, has been standing ever since William 
the Conqueror built it. Look at the moat full of water round 
the castle. That was made when Richard the First was king." 

" There's no water there now," Betty said. " When Dad 
and I went over the Tower the other day, soldiers were drilling 



THE MIDDLE AGES 53 

in the moat ! Oh, Godmother," she went on after a moment, 
" isn't it strange and uncanny to think that none of the people 
on this bridge, know all the things that are going to happen in 
that Tower ? " 

" The things we know because we live in a later time, you 
mean ? Yes. Can you think of some of them ? " 

" The poor little princes are soon going to be murdered there, 
for one thing," began Betty eagerly. " And Sir Thomas More, 
a good deal later on, will be beheaded. And -" she hesitated. 

" Ah, yes, in the years to come many, many poor prisoners 
will go under the Traitor's Gate there, never to return," said 
Godmother. " But we won't think of them now. Let us look 
at this beautiful little chapel beside us on the bridge. It's 
dedicated to the latest on the list of saints. Can you guess who 
that is ? " 

Betty looked puzzled. 

"St. Thomas a Becket. You remember all about him, and 
how he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral ? " 

" Yes ! and there used to be pilgrimages to his tomb," put 
in Betty. 

" Later on we may see some of the pilgrims starting on their 
journey," Godmother told her. " Now let us take a boat and 
go westward up the river." 

" That will lead to Westminster, won't it ? Oh, Godmother, 
do let us see how Westminster has got on ! " exclaimed Betty 
suddenly, remembering the low swampy island of Roman times. 

" That's just what we're going to do. We'll take a boat 
from the steps down there that lead from the lower chapel of 
St. Thomas to the water. We shall be in time, if we make haste, 
to join that party of monks who have been to say their prayers 
in the chapel, and are just going away by boat." 

Betty hurried after her from the upper to the lower chapel, 
and she and Godmother stepped into the boat with three or 
four of the Black Friars as they were called a merry party, 
and, as Betty thought, not at all monk-like, in their conversation. 
Though she could not understand all they said, because many of 
the words were pronounced in a way strange to her, she gathered 
enough to know that they were talking about a pilgrimage to 



54 MAGIC LONDON 

Canterbury, to which they seemed to be looking forward as a 
delightful pleasure trip. 

Interesting as the friars were to watch, the river banks were 
still more fascinating. Except for the landing-stages and a few 
quays and wharves near London Bridge, they might have been 
floating on a country river, and Betty thought suddenly of the 
unending line of warehouses, the smoke of a thousand chimneys, 
the noise and bustle near the river she had seen only this 
morning. 

" There's the Strand," exclaimed Godmother presently, 
pointing towards the right-hand bank of the stream. 

" The Strand ? " echoed Betty, scarcely able to believe her 
eyes. 

The Strand along which she had so recently driven, was a 
bustling street of shops and theatres, with tall-steepled churches 
at the end of it. Now she saw a country road lined with hedges, 
across which ran swift streams hurrying to empty their waters in 
the main river. There were bridges over the streams, and along 
the tree-shaded road, and across the bridges, rode or trudged a 
constant procession of people. 

" It's the main road from the City to Westminster, you see," 
said Godmother, " so that's why it's so crowded." 

" I never knew what the Strand meant before," declared 
Betty, all at once enlightened. " A strand is a shore, isn't it ? 
So that road is just the shore of the river." 

" Just as it is now," Godmother returned. " Nearly all the 
narrow streets on the right of the Strand, as you walk up it from 
Charing Cross station, lead down to the river. But except for 
lucky people like ourselves, it needs a great deal of imagination 
to picture it as we see it here, back in the fourteenth century, 
doesn't it ? " 

Betty was now gazing with admiration at a line of beautiful 
great houses whose gardens sloped to the water and were closed 
at its brink by a stone gate. 

" Those are the palaces of the great nobles," Godmother told 
her. " The one we are passing, is called the Savoy, and it belongs 
to John of Gaunt." 

" Why, there's the Savoy Hotel, and the Savoy Theatre in 



THE MIDDLE AGES 



55 



the Strand now ! " exclaimed Betty. " We passed them to- 
day." 

" Yes, they stand on part of that very ground where now 
you see this grand palace. Nearly every street leading from the 
Strand to the river still bears the name of some nobleman's 
palace, and shows where it stood. Essex Street, Buckingham 




Street, Cecil Street you noticed some of them this morning ? 
They all mark the site of some great house, now vanished. Many 
of them in this reign of Richard the Second are not yet built, 
and some of these at which we are looking, will be pulled down 
and re-built before they are finally destroyed. We are only in 
the fourteenth century as yet, remember." 

" This Savoy Palace is splendid ! " Betty cried with 



56 MAGIC LONDON 

enthusiasm. " Look, Godmother. There are ladies and gentle- 
men walking on the terrace. Oh, how beautifully they are 
dressed. Aren't the colours lovely ? I do wish we had dresses 
like that now, don't you ? Do look at that lady with a thing 
like a sugar-loaf on her head, and a gauzy veil floating from it." 

" Yes, the costumes of this fourteenth century are certainly 
beautiful," Godmother agreed. " Now you will understand why 
the English in the fourteenth century had the reputation for 
being the most gaily dressed people in Europe." 

"They look simply lovely on that terrace, and it's such 
a beautiful house that Savoy Palace, isn't it ? " 

" It's a wonderful looking place," agreed Godmother. " I 
don't think King John of France had a bad sort of prison, do 
you ? " 

" King John ? " Betty looked puzzled. 

" Don't you remember how he was taken prisoner by John 
of Gaunt's brother the Black Prince at Poitiers, and how 
because he was unable to pay his ransom, when he was set free, 
he returned to London like an honourable gentleman, and lived 
here, at the Savoy, till his death ? " 

" And that isn't so very long ago, is it ? I mean, counting 
that we're in the fourteenth century now ? " 

" Twenty years ago. The Black Prince, King Richard's 
father, has been dead about ten years, and he must often have 
come to this Savoy Palace to see John of Gaunt, his brother, 
and his so-called prisoner King John, of whom every one was 
very fond." 

They had fortunately lingered some time before the palace 
of the Savoy, to allow the Black monks to land at steps 
near it. Afterwards there was a long wait while the waterman 
who rowed the boat, followed them up a narrow lane over-arched 
with white hawthorn, and was seen to enter a little house with 
tiny latticed-paned windows and a swinging sign-board above 
its porch. 

" That's a tavern, and he's gone to drink what he no doubt 
calls ' a stoup of wine,' " said Godmother. " The muddy lane 
there, all overhung with trees, is now one of the narrow streets 
near the Savoy Hotel, leading into the Strand. At this moment 



THE MIDDLE AGES 57 

of the twentieth century, it is blocked with motor omnibuses and 
taxicabs ! " she added with a smile. 

Betty was glad of the delay, for it gave her time to look long 
at the stately palace, and at the other great houses lining the 
right bank of the river, with their backgrounds of gardens and 
orchards melting into green fields and woods where now, streets 
and innumerable buildings stretch for miles and miles. Pres- 
ently the boatman returned, whistling a cheerful air, and wiping 
his lips on the sleeve of his leather jerkin. Springing into the 
boat he began to row very quickly, and in a few minutes, as it 
seemed, Godmother said, " Here we are at the Palace of West- 
minster." 

All Betty could see from the river, was a strong brick wall, 
turreted and pierced with gates. 

" The Palace of Westminster ? There isn't one now, is 
there ? " she asked, as they went up steps from the river. 

" Not in reality. There is no actual palace here in our 
time. Yet because it stands on the same ground, another name 
for our modern Houses of Parliament is ' The Palace of West- 
minster.' ' 

" Why, yes ! The wide road outside it, is called Old Palace 
Yard, of course. I remember now. But there isn't any of the 
old palace left, is there ? " 

" There is just one building left of what was the home of all 
the Kings of England from long before William the Conqueror 
till the time of Henry the Eighth." 

They were passing under the arch of the gateway at the 
moment a fine stone gateway. 

" This has only just been built by the present King," God- 
mother observed. " It is quite a new gate, as you see." 

But Betty gave a cry of amazement when on passing through 
the gate she found herself in what was practically a little walled 
town, apart from the rest of London. The wall enclosed not 
only the Palace, and the great Abbey, but also little streets full 
of houses in which lived carpenters, stonemasons, armourers, 
jewellers, the makers of priestly robes, goldsmiths, blacksmiths 
in fact, traders of every kind who worked either for the Palace 
or the Abbey, or for both. 



58 MAGIC LONDON 

Her thoughts went back to the swampy island of a thousand 
years ago. Here she was, standing on the very same isle. Yet 
how changed ! Instead of a forest of reeds and bushes, here was 
a stately Palace and a still more stately Abbey. Busy men 
and women lived, where formerly only birds and water-rats made 
their homes. The island had, in fact, become a little town, 
divided from the greater city by massive walls. 

" We are facing the Palace now," said Godmother presently. 
" Do you see anything about it that looks familiar ?" 

" Why, surely that's Westminster Hall ?" Betty exclaimed 
after a moment, pointing to a long steep-roofed building in the 
midst of towers and pinnacles that were strange to her. 

" Yes, and the only part of the Old Palace that will remain 
to the time in which you and I live. It was built by William 
Rufus, so it is old, even in this fourteenth century." 

" But it looks so new " 

" That's because it has just been altered and almost rebuilt 
by the King now reigning. Let us go and look at the beautiful 
inner roof of the Hall." 

" The next time I see it, when we've moved on to our own 
time, it won't look like this," Betty observed, gazing up at its 
rafters as they entered Westminster Hall. " It will be all dark 
and old, won't it ? But it will be awfully interesting to think 
I saw it just after it was re-built and improved." 

" That's Richard's coat of arms up there below the line of 
windows," said Godmother. " You see the white hart is repeated 
again and again. Don't forget to look out for it when you see 
this Hall again in ordinary circumstances, I mean, without 
the ' magic.' And don't forget either that, except for the 
Tower, there's no building in our history that has seen so much 
misery," she added. " Think of all the famous people who have 
been tried here, and condemned to death." 

" Poor Charles the First was one, wasn't he ? Oh, God- 
mother, isn't it strange to think it hasn't happened yet and 
won't happen for let me see ? about two hundred years ! " 

" Now for just a glimpse of the Abbey," said Godmother 
after a moment, " and then we'll slip back into our own day 
for a little while. It won't do to see too much all at once." 



THE MIDDLE AGES 59 

" I could stay for ever in this London ! " Betty declared. 
" You'll bring me back again, won't you, Godmother ? I mean 
to just this time in the fourteenth century. It's so frightfully 
interesting." 

She had turned round to gaze at the beautiful Abbey in front 
of the Palace, the very Abbey so near to which her godmother 
lived. But at first sight she scarcely recognized it as the old 
grey place she knew, blackened by the years and the smoke of 
ages. 

" It looks so clean and white," she said. " And where are 
the towers that you see when you come up Victoria Street ? 
And where is Henry the Seventh's Chapel ? " 

" Now there's a silly child ! " cried Godmother. " How 
could there be a Henry the Seventh's Chapel when we are only 
at the reign of Richard the Second nearly a hundred years 
before Henry the Seventh reigned ? " 

" I forgot," said Betty meekly. 

" As for the towers you mention, they weren't built till the 
eighteenth century, long after Henry the Seventh's time." 

" But though the Abbey looks different, it's quite as big as 
it is now, don't you thinjk so ?" 

" Yes, it covers quite as much ground, though, as you see, a 
good deal of it looks different from the Abbey of our day. That's 
because from time to time, certain parts have been pulled down, 
and built in another way. We'll sit down here in the porch a 
moment and watch the people going in." 

As they rested in the deep sculptured porch with the image 
of the Virgin above it, men, women, and children of all ranks 
were continually entering or leaving the Church. Now it was a 
soldier in a tight leather cap, leather tunic or jerkin, and long 
hose. Now a great lady arriving in a litter borne by serving-men 
from which she alighted in the porch, and swept into the Church. 
One of these wore a short velvet jacket edged with ermine, over 
a long silken skirt. Her hair was twisted up into bosses on either 
side of her ears, and covered with a golden net, and her cloak, 
kept together in front with a jewelled clasp, trailed behind her as 
she walked. 

Following her came a boy, perhaps her son, as fantastically 



6o 



MAGIC LONDON 



dressed as the young man Betty had recently seen on London 
Bridge. All of the people she noticed, crossed themselves as they 
passed the statue of the Virgin on entering the Abbey, and this 
reminded her that England was still a Roman Catholic country. 
She thought she would never be tired of watching the scene 




before her, nor of letting her eyes wander over all the monasteries 
and gardens enclosed by the walls of Westminster. 

The bells began to ring for service within the Abbey. . . . 
They were still ringing when she found the white-panelled walls 
of Godmother's parlour round her, and rubbed her eyes as though 
to clear them of a vision. . . . 

" The Abbey bells ! " exclaimed Godmother. " Ringing just 
as they rang long ago, when Chaucer was alive." 



THE MIDDLE AGES 61 

" You said we might perhaps see him," said Betty. " But 
we didn't/' She knew something about Chaucer, for she had 
read one or two of the stories from the " Canterbury Tales/' and 
now that she had looked at London as it was when he lived in it, 
she was anxious to see the great poet himself. 

" Plenty of time. Didn't I promise you should go back 
again ? As soon as we've taken a little walk about the West- 
minster of to-day, we can slip into fourteenth-century London 
as soon as we please." 

" The best of this magic is that it doesn't really take any 
time, and yet it seems that we've been away hours and hours ! " 
remarked Betty, as they turned out of Godmother's quiet 
road. 

They were in Victoria Street now, with the Houses of Parlia- 
ment shutting out the view of the river, and on their right the 
Abbey. There was a roar of traffic, and all the ground on the 
left was covered with great modern buildings. 

Betty remembered the walled town she had just seen, with 
its quaint houses, its shops full of workmen, its gardens and 
monasteries. Nothing of that olden Westminster remained, 
except the Abbey itself and Westminster Hall, just opposite to 
her, with its sloping roof, which at the moment modern workmen, 
standing upon scaffolding, were busy repairing. 

She gave a long sigh. " Isn't it wonderful to think it has 
changed like this," she said. " Even the Abbey doesn't look the 
same because of Henry the Seventh's Chapel at the back there 
and the towers in front, which weren't built the last time we 
saw it." 

" I might go on telling you about that Abbey and its changes, 
all day," was Godmother's answer. " There's so much to learn 
about it that I only propose to talk about a little bit at a time. 
We'll just walk through it now, and out into the cloisters." 

Betty followed her, looking up at the beautiful soaring arches 
as they passed quickly across the Church and out at a little 
leather-covered door into a wonderful colonnade, enclosing a 
square of emerald-green grass. 

" This is a very, very old part of the building," said Godmother. 
" But long before even this colonnade, or cloister as it is called, 



62 MAGIC LONDON 

was built, there was a church here. Sit down, and 111 tell you 
a pretty story about the first Abbey. Now," she began, " you 
must think of the swampy island you saw in Roman times, and 
remember that our feet are on that very island now. Well, as 
you know, time passed, the Romans went, and our ancestors, the 
first English people came. They were heathens, worshipping 
wild gods like Thor and Woden, of whom you may have heard. 
Then, after years had gone by, they were converted to Christian- 
ity by Roman monks, and Sebert, one of their kings (who was 
really only what we should call the chief of a warlike tribe) , built 
a church on this very spot, which though it had become by this 
time fairly dry, was so covered with rough thickets that it was 
called the Isle of Thorns, or Thorney Island. The church, which 
we must picture to ourselves as a very simple building, was to 
be called St. Peter's. At last it was finished and ready to be 
consecrated, that is, dedicated to God, and the Bishop Mellitus, 
who was the first Bishop of London, was coming to perform the 
ceremony. 

" Now the day before the consecration, was a Sunday, and 
in the twilight that Sunday evening a certain fisherman called 
Edric, was busy with his nets on the banks of this Isle of Thorns, 
when he saw near the newly-built church of St. Peter a mysterious 
light. Presently he saw approaching, a venerable-looking man 
who asked to be rowed across a stream which lay between the 
shores of the island and the church. Edric consented, and on 
reaching the opposite bank, followed the stranger towards the 
church. On the way the old man struck the ground twice with 
his staff, and to the fisherman's amazement, each time, a spring 
of water gushed forth from the earth. But his wonder was 
increased when he saw the new building a blaze of light, and on 
entering, found it radiant with angels, each of whom held a candle. 
Then in the midst of the heavenly light the old man went through 
all the ceremonies of consecrating the church, while above its 
roof in a shining stream, Edric saw angels ascending and descend- 
ing. 

" When this lovely vision had disappeared, Edric rowed the 
old man back over the stream, and was bidden to tell the bishop 
next day that the church was already consecrated by no less a 



THE MIDDLE AGES 63 

person than St. Peter himself ! He was also to tell the bishop 
that the church must be called the Abbey of Westminster. 

" The old man, who was no other than St. Peter, also said 
that Edric might always be sure of catching many fish, on two 
conditions. First that he should never again work on a Sunday, 
and secondly, that he never forgot to take a certain quantity of 
the fish to the monks of the Abbey. 

" So next day, when Bishop Mellitus came to perform the 
ceremony of consecration, Edric told him all that had happened, 
and showed him the crosses on the doors, and the wax spilt on 
the floor from the candles the angels had held, and the springs 
of water (which, as wells, remain to this day) . The bishop was 
convinced of the truth of the fisherman's story, and changed the 
name of the island from Thorney, to Westminster. So in remem- 
brance of this appearance of St. Peter to Edric, the Thames 
fishermen for nearly four hundred years from that time, always 
brought a tithe of their fish to the Collegiate Church of St. Peter 
in Westminster, for that is the full and proper name of Westmin- 
ster Abbey." 

" It's a nice story," said Betty. " The fisherman in it reminds 
me of the time when we came to this place in Roman days in a 
fisherman 's boat . But that was long before it was called Thorney 
Island, of course." 

" Well," continued Godmother, " part of what I've just told 
you is only a legend. Now we come to real history. That first 
church built by Sebert, stood here for about four hundred years. 
Then Edward the Confessor came to the throne. He, as his 
name tells you, was a very pious king, and he had made a vow 
to God to build a great church. So he pulled down the one already 
standing on Thorney Island (as it was still called by the people) 
and on its foundations built another huge one quite as large as 
this present Abbey. It was finished just before he died, and the 
very next year, in 1066, William the Conqueror took possession 
not only of the palace in which Edward the Confessor and the 
kings before him, had lived (that old palace we have so lately 
seen, you know) but of the great new church belonging to it. 

" It stood as Edward the Confessor left it, for two hundred 
years. Then King Henry the Third pulled nearly all of it down, 



64 MAGIC LONDON 

so that very little is left of the first ancient building now. The 
Chapel of the Pyx, which we will see one day, is, however, a part 
of Edward the Confessor's Abbey, and so are some of the walls 
of this very cloister we are in. 

" Edward the First, Henry's son, went on with the re-build- 
ing, and while Chaucer was alive, a great deal was added to it. 
The famous Jerusalem Chamber, for instance, was only just 
finished when you saw the Abbey by magic this morning, and 
so was the greater part of this cloister in which we are sitting." 

" No wonder the Abbey looked all bright and new," said 
Betty. " What is the Jerusalem Chamber ? " 

" Well go and see it, and I'll tell you about it when we're 
there." 

They went through a little ancient court into a beautiful old 
room with a stained-glass window at one end. 

" Chaucer may have seen that glass," said Godmother, " for 
it was painted long before he was born. This room was built 
during his lifetime, for the use of the Abbot's guests when they 
came to stay with him. It was probably called the Jerusalem 
Chamber because there used to be tapestry on its walls showing 
the history of Jerusalem. And about that there is a curious 
story." 

" Do tell me ! " Betty urged. 

" I will, when we go home. Or rather, I'll let Shakespeare 
tell you, because he has used the story in one of his plays. 

" Many things have happened in this Jerusalem Chamber 
from the days when Chaucer saw it, up to our own time. Not 
so very long ago, for instance, when the Bible was revised (that 
is, translated again, and much of the wording altered) the learned 
men who worked at it sat here. . . . Now we've seen as much of 
the Abbey as was in existence when Richard the Second was king. 
But of course an enormous amount of its history comes after his 
time." 

" Does the story of the Jerusalem Chamber come after ? " 
Betty asked. 

" Yes, but so soon afterwards that we'll read it in the play of 
Henry the Fourth." 

" He was the very next king after Richard, wasn't he ? Oh 



THE MIDDLE AGES 65 

yes, of course. He was the man who usurped the throne, and 
had poor Richard murdered." 

Directly they reached the parlour at home, Betty ran to the 
bookcase for a " Shakespeare," and Godmother turned to the play. 

" I must tell you what had happened before the few last 
words which are all I'm going to read ! " she said. " King Henry 
the Fourth was setting out on a journey to the Holy Land, and 
just before he started, he went to pray in the Abbey. But there, 
before the altar, he was suddenly taken ill, and became uncon- 
scious. They carried him into the Abbot's guest-chamber 
the Jerusalem Room which you've just seen, but later moved 
him to another apartment. There when he was dying, remem- 
bering the place to which he had first been carried from the 
Abbey, he said : 

' Doth any name particular belong 
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon ? ' 

and Earl Warwick answered : 

' Tis called Jerusalem, my noble lord.' 

" Then the king, remembering a prophecy about the place 
of his death, replied : 

' Laud be to Heaven ! even there my life must end. 
It hath been prophesied to me many years, 
I should not die but in Jerusalem ; 
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land : 
But bear me to that chamber ; there I'll lie ; 
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die.'" 

" And that's true ? He really did die there ? " asked Betty. 

" Yes. So in a way the old prophecy, you see, was fulfilled, 
for he died in a room called ' Jerusalem.' There too, according 
to the old story which Shakespeare also tells in the same play, 
Prince Henry, when he was watching by his father's bedside, put 
on the crown he was afterwards to wear as Henry the Fifth. 
But we're getting too far away from the days of Richard the 
Second, and as we're going back to them as soon as we've had 
tea, I mustn't confuse you." 

E 



66 MAGIC LONDON 

Later on in the afternoon, when the magic rite of book and 
chain had been duly performed, to her great delight Betty found 
herself again standing at the gate leading on to London Bridge. 
After a short interval of modern days, she was delighted to be 
once more back in the Middle Ages. 

" You remember Thames Street ? " said Godmother, " the 
street so crowded this morning with motor lorries that we had to 
turn out of it ? Well, here it is ! " 

She pointed to the entrance of a lane open on one side to the 
clear sparkling river, and on the other lined with the quaintest 
of what Betty called " fairy-book " houses. They were built of 
wood, with timber beams across the front, each story projecting 
farther than the one below it, so that the topmost windows hung 
far out above the street below. Boards painted with various 
signs, such as fiery dragons, golden fish, and green bushes, 
swung over the dark little shops on the ground floor. The street 
upon which they opened, was muddy and unpaved, but it was 
filled with a bustling crowd of gaily-dressed people. Recalling 
the Thames Street of this morning's visit, the river hidden by 
enormous warehouses, motor vehicles blocking the roadway, 
Betty could scarcely believe this to be the same spot. 

" I want you to look at that house," said Godmother, pointing 
to one of the gabled dwellings that had a wine shop below it. 
" Because there, Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet, was born and lived 
for some years. His father, as you may guess, by the sign over 
the door, was a wine merchant or vintner as he would say." 

" Doesn't Chaucer live there still ? " 

" No, he's an old man now, and he's living in that little walled 
town of Westminster, close to the Abbey. The year we're in 
1388 is the last year of his life, and he has still to write his most 
famous poem." 

" That's the ' Canterbury Tales,' I know ! " 

Just at the moment, and before Godmother could answer, 
there was a stir and commotion in Thames Street. Children 
began to run, shouting to one another, " The Pilgrims ! " " The 
Pilgrims come ! " and there was a general rush in one direction. 

Betty and her godmother followed the crowd. " Let us 
stand here in the middle of the bridge, outside the Chapel of St. 






THE MIDDLE AGES 



67 



Thomas, ' ' suggested Godmother. ' ' Then we shall see them come 
in at the north gate and go out at the one at the other end of the 
bridge, into Southwark." 

They had just taken their places, when an elderly quiet- 




looking man dressed in a long brown garment, with a hood whose 
long peak hung to his shoulder, came up, stepping softly, and 
stood beside them. 

" Do you know who this is ? " Godmother asked. " No other 
than Geoffrey Chaucer, the great poet ! " 

Betty was torn between her desire to look at him, and her 



68 MAGIC LONDON 

excitement at the approach of a train of people on horseback, who 
now came clattering through the gateway on to the bridge. 

" This is a company of pilgrims just setting out on their 
journey to Canterbury to visit the tomb of St. Thomas a Becket," 
Godmother told her. " Do you notice how intently the poet is 
watching them ? " 

Betty glanced at him, and saw him smiling quietly as the 
procession passed by. 

" He will go home presently and perhaps begin to write the 
' Canterbury Tales ' this very day, making an Introduction or 
Prologue to it which will describe all those people on horseback 
just as you see them/' 

" Do look at that pretty nun. How she's laughing ! " 
exclaimed Betty. " Oh ! what a lovely coat ! " she cried again, 
as a handsome young man rode by, gaily and beautifully dressed. 
" And look at the fat woman with the scarlet stockings, and 
the enormous hat. . . . But what a lot of monks and nuns 
there are, aren't there ? " 

" Yes," agreed Godmother, " London is full of them. Every- 
where there are great rich monasteries, and some of the monks 
and nuns are becoming very lazy and neglecting their duties. 
You may read in the Introduction to the ' Canterbury Tales ' 
how Chaucer makes fun of them. Though he doesn't forget to 
do honour to those of them who are good," she added. " Look 
at that kind-faced priest with the shabby robe. No doubt 
Chaucer is at this moment planning how he will describe that 
very man as the good priest, who practises what he preaches." 

Betty glanced at the poet again, and wondered what he was 
thinking. 

" Let us follow the pilgrims a little way," Godmother sug- 
gested. " Before they actually leave London they are sure to 
go into some inn to have a meal or to drink wine, and you would 
perhaps be interested to see what fourteenth-century inns were 
like ? " 

Betty was more than willing, and glancing back she saw that 
the quiet-looking, brown-clad poet was following them. 

" Now we are in Southwark," Godmother said as they went 
off the bridge through the gateway under the tower. " Think 



THE MIDDLE AGES 69 

of Southwark as you saw it this morning ! There," she pointed 
to a meadow golden with buttercups, " ran the railway bridge 
over which trains were thundering, and where as far as 
you can see now, there are hedges and woods, if we had walked 
this morning we should have gone through miles of streets in 
Bermondsey and Newington." 

" Oh I and look at the church ! " exclaimed Betty. "It's 
the St. Saviour's we saw this morning, isn't it ? But that beauti- 
ful great building near it is a monastery, I suppose ? " 

She remembered the narrow strip of churchyard she had seen 
a short time previously, and gazed with astonishment at the 
gardens and broad green lands that now surrounded the church. 

" Oh, how different. What a pity ! " she sighed. " I wish 
we didn't live at the time we do, don't you, Godmother ? " 

" Our times have some advantages," said Godmother. " We'll 
count up our blessings some day. But I agree that we 
haven't improved Southwark," she went on, smiling. "A 
few houses, but only a few, as you see, are standing on this side 
of the river in the fourteenth century, and most of these, as 
you may notice, are inns." 

The train of pilgrims was entering the courtyard of one of 
them at the moment, and soon Betty and Godmother stood in 
the archway looking round at the quaint old place. 

" This inn is called the Tabard," Godmother told her. " It is 
the very one that Chaucer, now, as you observe, talking to the 
fat landlord, is going to describe as the meeting-place of his 
pilgrims." 

" What does the Tabard mean ? " Betty asked, looking at 
the signboard over the main door. " There's something painted 
on that sign, but I don't know what it is." 

"It's meant for a coat worn by a herald, and sometimes also 
by knights over their armour. Such a coat is called a tabard in 
these fourteenth-century days. Now look well at this particular 
inn, because most of the other taverns are very like it, and this 
fashion of building lasted for years. In fact, there were some left 
in Southwark till quite lately, and even now there is just a corner 
of one still remaining. The inn you see follows three sides of 
this square courtyard. Look at the curiously-carved galleries 



70 MAGIC LONDON 

running round two floors of it, and at the quaint gables above." 

" How pretty it looks to see all the pilgrims walking and 
sitting about, ' ' exclaimed Betty. ' ' And how they are chattering 
and laughing ! " 

She could have stayed for hours watching them and was 
sorry when presently they all remounted and with loud farewells 
to the jolly host of the Tabard, clattered out into the country 
road. 

" Just think what miles of dull streets they would have to 
ride through if they were riding to Canterbury in our time," 
she said. 

" As it is," said Godmother, " they're in leafy lanes already, 
where the birds are singing and the banks are covered with wild 
flowers. That road they are taking to Canterbury, is still called 
the Pilgrim's Way. The next time we take a country motor 
drive 111 show you the continuation of it that runs over the green 
Surrey hills which by the end of the day those pilgrims will 
reach. ..." 

" What shall we do now ? " Betty inquired when the long 
procession was out of sight. 

" Would you like to look on at a Miracle play ? " 

11 What is a Miracle play ? " 

" Come and see. Fortunately there is one going on now at 
the Church of St. Margaret's, not very far from St. Saviour's. 

"Is St. Margaret's Church still standing ? We didn't see 
it this morning when we went in the car, did we ? " 

" Not a stone of St. Margaret's is left in our time. Some 
day you shall see all that there is now, to remind us of a church 
which in this fourteenth century is very celebrated for its Miracle 
plays. They don't as a rule begin till Whitsuntide, but there 
happens to be a special performance because it's May Day, and a 
general holiday." 

" A play in a church ? " exclaimed Betty. 

" Yes. Most of the acting in this fourteenth century, takes 
place either in churches, or in churchyards. Scarcely any of these 
people you see about you, can read, and so the priests and monks 
have hit upon the plan of teaching them the Bible stories by means 
of acting. Sometimes religious plays are performed inside the 



THE MIDDLE AGES 71 

churches, but more often as in the case of the one we are going 
to see outside them, where there is more room for the people. 
There ! isn't that a curious sight ? " 

They stood before a church which seemed to be part of a 
great monastery, whose buildings rose at the back of it. In front 
of the church was a wide grassy space where a great crowd of 
people was gathered, gazing breathlessly at strange figures moving 
about upon platforms raised up on scaffolding, close to the church 
door. 

There were three of these platforms. On the lowest, near the 
ground, swarmed a number of boys dressed as demons, dancing 
round an ugly creature with claws and a long tail, who was 
meant for the Devil. 

" That platform represents Hell," said Godmother. " The 
next one, which as you notice is on a level with the top of the 
church door, is Earth, and the two people upon it are Adam 
and Eve. You see there are one or two trees, to show that it's 
meant for the Garden of Eden." 

" And there's the serpent ! " exclaimed Betty. " He's 
wriggling ! " 

" Yes, there's a boy inside that painted case representing 
the serpent, tempting Eve to take the apple. Now look up 
at the highest platform, level with the church windows. That 
is Heaven, and the figure with the golden crown, and the 
priestly robe, stepping from the window on to the platform, means 
God to the people. You have only to glance at them to under- 
stand how full of awe and reverence they are." 

Looking at the faces in the crowd, Betty saw that this was 
true, for the people were silent and grave. Many of the chil- 
dren, frightened by the black demons and the clanking of their 
chains, were hiding their heads in their mothers' skirts, and some 
were crying. 

" It all seems very childish and even absurd to us, doesn't it ? 
But remember these are simple ignorant people who can neither 
read nor write, and to them, it is wonderful. It is through these 
plays that they have learnt most of the Bible stories they 
know." 

"It's awfully interesting ! " Betty murmured, feeling that 



72 MAGIC LONDON 

though at first she had been inclined to laugh at what seemed to 
her a funny performance, the people were so serious that she 
must be respectful. 

" This fourteenth century is the great time for Miracle 
plays," explained Godmother, as they walked away from the 
gaily-coloured crowd grouped round the church. " Most of the 
people have still very childlike minds, and they depend upon 
the priests and monks to teach them. We have noticed already 
how full London is of these priests, and everywhere, as you have 
seen, there are monasteries. Pay attention to them as we pass, 
because the next time we see London, nearly all of the monas- 
teries will be in ruins." 

" In ruins ? Why ? " 

" Think of your history. The Reformation is coming, when 
all the monks will be turned out of their homes, and the great 
buildings in which they lived will be pulled down, and all the 
enormous wealth now belonging to the Church will be taken away 
from it, and given to the State. England will become a Protes- 
tant country, and the old form of worship will disappear in 
London, as in every other town in the land." 

" What a pity about the monasteries," Betty said. " They 
are so beautiful and splendid. It's awful to think of not seeing 
them again." 

" Yes. You see London now when the Church is all-power- 
ful. The next time you come, its power will be broken, and 
London will be a Protestant city. ..." 

" Where shall we go now, Godmother ? " asked Betty as they 
left the south side of the city, and recrossed London Bridge. 

" Well, it's almost time we slipped back into our own day. 
But before we do that, you shall just have a glimpse of the Chepe." 

" The Chepe ? What does that mean ? " 

" Didn't we drive down Cheapside this morning ? " 

" Yes. I remember it. That busy street near St. Paul's, 
was Cheapside." 

" And do you remember Bow Church in Cheapside ? " 

" Yes," said Betty eagerly. " It has a lovely steeple with a 
dragon on the top. I always remember it because the bells that 
Dick Whittington heard, were the bells of Bow Church." 




THE CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 



THE MIDDLE AGES 73 

11 Well, come and see Cheapside as it looks now at the end 
of the fourteenth century. It isn't called Cheapside yet. The 
people of London call it the Chepe, which is an old English word 
for market. The Chepe (Cheapside in our day) is the great 
market-place of London. We needn't walk to it. Just shut 
your eyes and wish yourself there. A magic visit such as this 
has many advantages. One of them is that we needn't tire 
ourselves with walking." 

Betty did as she was told, and a second later looked round 
her. 

" Oh, Godmother, what a nice place ! But it isn't a bit 
like our Cheapside. It's much wider, for one thing and of 
course the houses are all different. Oh ! it's lovely." 

They stood in a broad open space paved with cobble-stones. 
On either hand there were quaint houses like those in Thames 
Street, and among them a few much finer and larger, with carved 
balconies, and coloured and gilded coats of arms on their walls. 
' ' Those are the houses of the wealthy merchants, ' ' said Godmother, 
pointing to the grander buildings. " Do you remember when 
we were in the car this morning passing a street out of Cheapside 
called Wood Street ? " 

" With a big tree at the corner ? Yes ! " 

" Well, we are standing just about there." 

Betty gasped with astonishment. 

" Oh ! how difficult it would be to imagine all this if I wasn't 
actually seeing it," she murmured. 

Down the middle of the market-place, at intervals, were stone 
fountains, and close to where she stood (opposite the modern 
Wood Street), rose a beautiful stone cross. 

" That's one of the crosses put up by Edward the First, in 
memory of his wife, Eleanor. You remember the story ? And 
that church on the right, is Bow Church." 

" But it doesn't look a bit like the Bow Church I know ! " 

" Except for the foundations it's not the Bow Church we know, 
but another, built on its ruins. You have to remember that all 
this market, and in fact nearly the whole of London, is going 
to be swept away by a fire nearly three hundred years later 
on." 



74 MAGIC LONDON 

" In the Great Fire, you mean ? In the reign of Charles II ? 
So I suppose that's why London looks so different in our time ? " 

" It had to be almost rebuilt, so no wonder it's different." 

" What a pity ! " sighed Betty. " I like it so much better as 
we see it now." She scarcely knew which to look at first, the 
quaint timber houses surrounding the market-place, or the 
amusing crowd with which it was filled. In the open space before 
her were arranged wooden booths upon which bread, milk, 
fruit, poultry and meat were sold, just as in a modern country 
market. But the crowd round the stalls was very different in 
appearance from a modern crowd. The noise was terrific, for 
from every booth came cries from the sellers to buy, buy, buy ! 
and everywhere there was laughter and screaming and singing. 

" Why are the houses decorated, I wonder ? " asked Betty 
presently. For beautiful draperies of scarlet and blue and purple 
were hung over most of the balconies, and banners fluttered from 
the windows. 

" Don't forget it's May Day. The Lord Mayor is going to 
ride through the Chepe. He must be coming now. See how the 
people are hanging out of the windows, and crowding on to the 
balconies ! Let us stand up here on the steps of the cross, and 
watch." 

In a few moments a pretty May Day procession was seen 
crossing the market-place, led by a boy playing on a pipe, and 
followed by young girls and children crowned with flowers, and 
singing. Then came the clanking of horses' feet, and soon a 
stately-looking man riding on a horse whose gay trapping hung 
low, came into sight. He wore a rich crimson cloak trimmed 
with fur, and a flat cap of crimson velvet with a plume, and by 
his side rode several other splendidly-dressed gentlemen. 

" Those are the Sheriffs, the men who help the Mayor to 
govern the city," Godmother explained. " This Lord Mayor is 
very popular. Listen to the cheering of the people ! And see, 
they are showering flowers upon him from the windows." 

Just as he passed the cross, the Lord Mayor reined in his steed, 
lifted his cap and bowed to the applauding crowd, and at the 
moment, Betty caught sight of the heavy gold chain that lay 
about his shoulders, and across his tunic. 



THE MIDDLE AGES 75 

" Godmother ! There's the very chain you took out of your 
cabinet," she cried. 

" It is. And do you know the name of the Lord Mayor who 
wears it ? No ? Then I'll tell you. Sir Richard Whittington." 

Betty stared at her. " Not Dick Whittington ? " 

" Yes that's Dick Whittington grown up, and this is the 
third time he's been Lord Mayor of London." 

" Why, I've been to a pantomime about him ! " exclaimed 
Betty. " I never knew he was a real person." 

" He's a very real person, as you see." 

" Then it's true, about his cat, and Bow Bells ringing ' Turn 
again, Whittirgton,' and Alice, the beautiful girl he married, 
who was his master's daughter ? " asked Betty, all in one 
breath. 

"I'm afraid it's not all true, though a great deal of it is. In 
the story, he's a poor boy who leaves London with a bundle on 
his back, to seek his fortune. Stopping to rest on Highgate Hill 
he hears the bells of Bow calling him to return, for he shall be 
Lord Mayor of London. Well, I'm afraid he wasn't a poor boy. 
He was the son of a country gentleman, and he was sent to live 
with a relation of his, a great London merchant called Sir John 
Fitzwarren. Dick was an industrious boy while he was learning 
his trade, and now he has grown very rich. His wife is Alice 
Fitzwarren, his master's daughter, and he is Lord Mayor. So 
a good deal of the story is true after all." 

" But the cat ? " said Betty. " Isn't it true about his lovely 
cat ? " 

" Something mask be true about the cat, because later on, the 
image of a cat was put on all the houses that were built with the 
money Dick Whittington left for that purpose. So a cat must 
have had something to do with his success. I only wish we knew 
exactly what it was ! Dick Whittington is now so wealthy that 
he sometimes gives banquets to the King, and he has a splendid 
house not far from the Chepe." 

" He looks nice and kind," said Betty. 

"He is very generous, and has done much for London. 
Already he is building a monastery and some almshouses for poor 
people." 



76 MAGIC LONDON 

" Why, there are some Whittington Almshouses at High- 
gate." 

' Yes. But they were only built about a hundred years ago. 
They were built, however, with Dick Whittington 's money, and 
it was a nice thought, wasn't it, to put them where, according 
to the story, he heard Bow Bells ? " 

" They said ' Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of 
London ! ' And now he is Lord Mayor, and there he goes 
riding by. It seems too good to be true that I've actually seen 
him, Godmother ! " declared Betty excitedly. " I used to love 
the picture-book of Dick Whittington we had in the nursery when 
I was little. And I loved the pantomime about him too. It 
was so jolly to hear the bells ringing when Dick sat on the stile 
at Highgate and listened to them." 

" There's another old rhyme about Bow Bells, which tells a 
pretty story about these young 'prentices you see all round you, 
standing at the doors of their masters' shops and shouting, 
' Buy ! buy ! buy ! ' This is the tale. At one time an order was 
given by the Lord Mayor that Bow Bell should ring every night 
at nine o'clock. It was the signal for the shops to be closed. 
But according to the 'prentices the bell always rang late, and so 
kept them at work longer than there was any occasion. They 
were angry about this, and made a rhyme which they wrote out 
and put up against the clock: 

' Clerk of the Bow Bell, with the yellow lockes, 
For thy late ringing, thy head shall have knockes. 

To which the bell-ringer replied in another rhyme, 

' Children of Chepe, hold you all still, 
For you shall have the Bow Bell rung at your will.' " 

" Oh, how nice of him," said Betty. " I like the part about 
the yellow locks. Look ! there's a young man going past now 
with fair hair almost to his shoulders. He must be rather like 
that clerk who had to ring Bow Bell." 

" You will remember that rhyme the next time you go down 
Cheapside in an omnibus and pass Bow Church. Many other 
things you may remember also. For instance, when you look at 



THE MIDDLE AGES 77 

the names of some of the streets leading out of the modern 
Cheapside, they will recall this market-place of the Middle Ages. 
Do you see, for instance, how certain articles of food like milk 
and bread and honey are sold in separate places ? All the milk 
sellers have their stalls together, you see, and all the bakers are 
together over there, and so on. Well, certain streets in or near 
the modern Cheapside are still called by such names as Milk 
Street, Bread Street, and so forth, and they mark the very 
spots where now, bread and milk are being offered for sale. So 
you will perhaps find Cheapside a more interesting place now 
that you have seen the Chepe of which it is the remains," added 
Godmother with a smile. 

" Oh, every time I see it, I shall remember this ! " Betty 
declared as her eyes wandered over the beautiful market-place 
with its cross and fountains, its picturesque houses brilliant with 
coloured draperies, and its throng of quaintly-clad lively people. 
The bells of many churches were ringing and clashing merrily, 
but she heard the sweet chimes of one above all the rest. 

" Bow bells ! " she said, looking up at the church. " I 
wonder if the Lord Mayor is listening to them now, and remember- 
ing the time when they said ' Turn again, Whittington ' ! " 

But the last words were uttered in Godmother's parlour, 
and outside, a newspaper boy was calling the latest racing news. 
"All the winners I All the winners ! " he shouted. 

Two or three days later, when Betty happened to be walking 
down St. James's Street with her mother, it suddenly occurred 
to her that they were near the London Museum. 

" Do let us go in for a minute," she urged. " I want 
to see if there's anything there that will remind me of the reign 
of Richard the Second." 

" Why are you interested in Richard the Second ? " asked 
her mother. " Are you doing his reign at school ? " 

" No. But somehow I seem to know how London looked 
then. I've got a picture of it in my mind, and I can't think 
why." 

" Well, we shan't find any room labelled Richard the Second, 
of course," said her mother as they entered the building, " so 



78 MAGIC LONDON 

we'd better look for a room that has to do with the Middle Ages." 

" Here it is ! " cried Betty presently. " It says Medieval 
London on that doorway. That's the same as the Middle Ages, 
isn't it ? " 

In this room, when they had looked at cases full of things 
that were made and used in the fourteenth century, such as bowls, 
jugs, lanterns, keys, ornaments and a hundred other objects, 
Betty's mother all at once said, " Come and see this picture of 
London in the fourteenth century. Isn't it a little place ? 
How curious to think it was once like that." 

Betty gazed eagerly at a picture which represented the 
painter's idea of the appearance of London about the year 1400. 

"Yes, it's very good," she declared. "There's London 
Bridge, with just a few old houses at one end of it. And there's 
all that was built then of the Tower. And that's the first St. 
Paul's Cathedral, with a spire instead of a big dome. Oh ! 
and look, mother ! There's St. Saviour's in Southwark at the 
other end of the bridge. Behind it there's another church 
called St. Margaret's, where they used to have Miracle plays. 
Such funny plays. Only of course they taught the people about 
the Bible." 

Her mother looked surprised. " You know quite a lot about 
it, Betty ! " she declared. 

" It seems somehow as though I'd seen it," said Betty in a 
puzzled voice. 

" How wonderful it is to think of the country coming up close 
to that wall that goes round the tiny city," her mother remarked, 
still examining the picture. " Fancy being able to walk through 
green fields in Southwark ! " 

" The children picked flowers there," said Betty, rather 
dreamily, " and came running back over London Bridge with 
them, and sang, 'London Bridge is broken down.'' 

" My dear child, what an imagination you have ! " laughed 
her mother. 

That same evening, Betty had another reminder of London 
in the Middle Ages. In the library at home, when she was 
looking for something to read, she found a book full of poems 



THE MIDDLE AGES 



79 



about London. Some were by new poets and some by writers 
of long ago. A rather long one was called London Lackpenny, and 
though the spelling and some of the wording was curious, she 
could make out its sense. It seemed to be about a poor 
young man who long, long ago came to London, and found it 
was a difficult place to live in unless one had plenty of pennies. 




" Why, he's talking about the very Chepe I saw ! " she thought 
as she came to a certain verse. 

" Then to the Chepe I began me drawne 
Where mutch people I saw for to stand. 
One offered me velvet, sylke, and lawne, 
And other he taketh me by the hande, 
' Here is Paris thred, the fynest in the lande.' 
I never was used to such thyngs indede 
And wanting mony I myght not spede. 
Then I hyed me into Eastchepe ; 
One cryes rybbs of befe, and many a pye ; 
Pewter potts they clattered on a heape, 
There was harpe, pype, and mynstrelsye." 


" What have you got hold of there ? " asked her father, look- 
ing over her shoulder. " Oh, that funny ballad written by old 
John Lydgate in the Middle Ages. I expect it's quite a good 
description of Cheapside as it was then." 



80 MAGIC LONDON 

" It's just right. It was exactly like that," Betty exclaimed, 
thinking of the booths in the Chepe, piled with goods, and all 
the noise and bustle and shouting, and the sound of music from 
harps and pipes, mingled with the clashing of church bells. 

" How do you know ? " asked her father, smiling. 

But Betty hadn't the slightest idea till she saw Godmother 
again. 




Ill 
In Tudor Days 

THE LONDON OF SHAKESPEARE AND QUEEN 
ELIZABETH 

HAT are we going to see this morning ? " Betty asked 
on the following Saturday. 

" We're not going to see anything till I know 
whether you remember at least the names of the kings between 
Richard the Second and Queen Elizabeth," returned Gqdmother 
firmly. 

" Oh, then, it's to Queen Elizabeth's time we're going pre- 
sently ? " Betty exclaimed. " I shall like that. I really do 
know the kings after Richard the Second, Godmother. So 
I'll make haste about them. Henry the Fourth came next, 
and he was a usurper. Then Henry the Fifth. After him, 
Henry the Sixth (when the Wars of the Roses began), then 
Edward the Fourth, next Edward the Fifth, the poor little 
murdered-in-the-Tower king. After him, Richard the Third, 
his cruel uncle. Then Henry the Seventh, Henry the Eighth, 
Edward the Sixth (who died young), and then his sister Mary, 
and then his other sister Elizabeth." 

" Well done ! " said Godmother, laughing, as Betty rattled 
off the names. " Well, the reigns of all those sovereigns took 
up about a hundred and sixty years. So when we magically 
see London again, it will be a hundred and sixty years older 
than it was at our last visit." 

" Oh, can't we go back at once ? " Betty urged impatiently. 

81 F 



82 MAGIC LONDON 

" Not quite at once. The car is here, and I'm going to take 
you to the Royal Exchange." 

Much as she loved the magic part of these Saturdays, Betty 
also enjoyed the drives through modern London, especially as 
she knew the magic would come later. So she gladly followed 
Godmother into the waiting car. 

" The Royal Exchange ? " she began, almost before they 
were seated. " I've been past it often. It's that big place 
near the Bank and the Mansion House. But I don't know what 
it's for." 

"It's the great centre for English trade affairs. There, 
everything that has to do with England's commerce is discussed 
by the merchants who meet to talk and arrange their business." 

In a very short time they reached that busy part of the City 
where, close together, stand the Bank of England, the Mansion 
House, and the Royal Exchange. But before the car drew up, 
Godmother had called Betty's attention to the names of two 
streets close by, and also, a moment later, to a curious sign 
hanging from a house. The first street was called Gresham 
Street, and the sign not far from it was a large gilded grass- 
hopper over a door in Lombard Street. 

" I want you to remember these," she said. " Now we'll 
go into the courtyard of the Exchange and look at the pictures." 

Betty followed her up a flight of steps in front of the great 
building, and found that the walls of a corridor running on all 
four sides of the courtyard within the entrance, had large pictures 
painted upon them. She soon discovered that much of the 
history not only of London, but of England, was shown by these 
pictures. 

Before two or three of them she lingered with special interest. 

" Oh, Godmother, look ! Here's the market-place of London 
in Roman times. The market-place we saw." And again, 
as another scene with which she had memories caught her 
eye, " Godmother, there's dear old Dick Whittington giving 
alms to the people. He was dressed just like that when 
we saw him last Saturday, and so were the boys and girls in 
the Chepe ! " 

She would like to have stayed much longer before the painted 



IN TUDOR DAYS 83 

scenes (some of them represented things that had happened 
only a year or two ago, such, for instance, as the fight at Zee- 
brugge, and the Thanksgiving Service after the War) but 
Godmother hurried her away. 

" We'll come again when we've seen a little more of London 
in the Past," she said. " I want you now, only just to remember 
that you've seen the Royal Exchange of to-day." 

They drove back through Cheapside, Fleet Street and the 
Strand into Whitehall, where 
Betty looked up at that statue 
of King Charles the First on 
horseback, which stands with 
its back to Trafalgar Square. 

" As we shall be in London 
of Queen Elizabeth's time this 
afternoon," said Godmother, 
" it may be useful to notice 
all that we are passing now. 
Where you see that statue of 
Charles the First, there stood 
in Elizabeth's day, one of the 
crosses to the memory of 
Queen Eleanor. Remember 
that, for one thing. We're 
passing the Horse Guards, 
with the soldiers on horseback 
outside. Remember exactly 
where the gateway stands. 
Now look at this line of 
houses and buildings on the 
left Scotland Yard among 
away, what would you see ? 

" The river," replied Betty. " The Victoria Embankment 
first, and then the river." 

" Yes. Well, keep this picture of the present Whitehall in 
your head, because you will look upon a very different one this 
afternoon." 

Betty smiled in anticipation of " the magic time " that was 




them. Imagine them all swept 



84 MAGIC LONDON 

coming. " I do wonder what London will be like in Queen 
Elizabeth's day ! " she exclaimed. " Do you think we shall 
see her ? And Shakespeare too, perhaps ? " 

" Possibly," said Godmother. " Here we are at home, and 
if you like, you may amuse yourself by looking at an old map 
I've got upstairs, made towards the end of the reign of Eliza- 
beth. You will see that though London has grown bigger 
since the days of Dick Whittington, it is still full of open spaces 
and large gardens, even within the walls. And outside them, 
where now we have miles and miles of streets, it was still nearly 
all open country, except on the south side of the river, where 
you will see some interesting buildings marked." 

Betty was interested in the quaint old map, but it was one 
thing to look at a map, and quite another to walk in the actual 
streets it represented, and she longed for the afternoon. 

" How shall we get back to-day ? " she asked when the time 
came. 

" There are many ways of getting into the Past," Godmother 
replied. " Sometimes a single word, or the sight of a picture, 
or a line of poetry is the magic that will send one there in the 
twinkling of an eye. To-day we will try one line from a poem 
written by a man called William Dunbar. No one has ever 
praised London better than this poet, who saw the city in the 
sixteenth century, though about fifty years before Elizabeth 
came to the throne. Shut your eyes, take this book in your 
hand, and say after me the line with which each verse of Dunbar 's 
poem ends : 

" London, thou art the flower of Cities all," repeated Betty 
obediently. . . . 

" Now you may look ! " said Godmother after a pause and 
as Betty's eyes flew open, she added, " We are in the middle of 
the sixteenth century. Elizabeth is Queen, and here we are 
once more on London Bridge." 

They were standing by the tower at the entrance gate, 
looking towards the tower at the other end, leading into South- 
wark, but Betty did not at first recognize it as the same bridge 
on which she had stood in the Middle Ages. 



IN TUDOR DAYS 85 

" Why, it looks more like a street than a bridge," she cried. 
And indeed when they began to walk across it, she and God- 
mother were in a street. Gabled houses lined the parapets on 
either hand, shutting out any view of the river, and at the foot 
of all the houses, were shops Half-way across the bridge stood 
a fantastic-looking house which Godmother said was called 
Nonsuch, a perfectly delightful name, Betty decided. Then 
came an open space from which one could look up and down 
the river before the houses and shops closed in again and extended 
right up to the gate and towers at the Southwark end of the 
bridge. 

" Oh, how it's altered ! " cried Betty. " But the little Chapel 
of St. Thomas is there still, and it's the same bridge, of course, 
only built over with all these funny old houses. And how the 
dress of the people has altered too," she went on. " Look at 
this lady coming with the enormous ruff round her neck." 

" But they're still very gay, aren't they ? " remarked God- 
mother. " Here's a fine young man approaching, with his long 
crimson silk stockings and his slashed doublet, and the little red 
velvet cloak hanging from one shoulder. You see the men are 
quite as gaily dressed as the women. Just as they were in the 
fourteenth century. Only now the costume both for men and 
women has changed." 

" London's grown bigger since we last saw it," said Betty, 
looking right and left up and down the river from the open space 
where she stood. 

" It's had nearly two hundred years to do it in. But though 
the buildings cluster more thickly, the old wall, as you notice, 
still remains, and people enter or leave London through its gates. 
There's one of them, you see. It's called Aldgate, which means 
Old Gate, because it was one of the first to be built." 

" Is that where Aldgate Street is now ? " 

" Yes. Beyond it, as you know, in our day, London stretches 
on and on, northwards and eastwards. But though there are 
buildings outside the gates, as you may see, they are set in 
green fields, and there is still country just beyond the gates of 
London. Now let us wander about a little to discover what 
changes there are since the last time we were in the Past. Let 



86 



MAGIC LONDON 



us see how much of the old has gone, and what there is that's 
new." 

They began their walk along the river bank, and very soon 
Betty saw here and there, great spaces in which sometimes a 




wall, sometimes a column was left standing. Otherwise, except 
for a litter of stones, nothing remained of the buildings but 
ruins. 

" What have they been doing here, Godmother ? " she asked 
in surprise. 



IN TUDOR DAYS 87 

" Pulling down monasteries, colleges for priests, and hos- 
pitals that were looked after by monks and nuns." 

" But why ? " 

" Now you'll have to think of your history. About fifty 
years ago, counting that we are now in the year 1590, Elizabeth's 
father, Henry the Eighth, was reigning. Remember his quarrel 
with the Pope. Remember how he made his subjects become 
Protestants. The monasteries were the homes of the monks, 
so they were swept away because they represented the old 
Roman Catholic faith. When Elizabeth came to the throne, 
London was as full of ruins as it had formerly been full of monas- 
teries. Now, as we shall see, new buildings are everywhere 
rising on the sites of the old religious houses. But as yet there 
hasn't been time to build over all of them. This, for instance," 
she pointed to the crumbling walls and broken pillars at which 
Betty was sadly gazing, " is still nothing but a heap of ruins." 

" What was it ? " 

" A college for priests, called the College of St. Spirit, built 
by our old friend Dick Whittington." 

" Oh, what a shame ! " cried Betty. "It's dreadful to 
come back to London and find so many beautiful places gone or 
spoilt, Godmother." 

" Yes, it's sad, I agree. Though it's true that the power of 
the Church had grown too great, and most of the clergy had 
become rich and idle, it seems unnecessary to destroy the beauty 
of churches and monasteries because the people to whom they 
belonged were unworthy. However, nothing can remain as it 
was for ever, you know, and though we shall find much that was 
beautiful in the fourteenth century vanished for ever, we shall 
also see new beautiful things that have sprung, or are springing 
into life in this, the sixteenth century. Let us go and look at 
some of them. We'll go first to the Royal Exchange." 

" Why, we've just been there ! " 

" Not to the one we're going to see, though it stands in 
exactly the same place. We'll walk to it through the Chepe." 

" It was called Cheapside this morning when we drove down 
it," said Betty, smiling. " How funny it is to think it should 
be really the same place." 



88 MAGIC LONDON 

" More or less on the same ground, at any rate," Godmother 
returned. " Here we are." 

" It isn't so very much altered from the time we saw it when 
Richard the Second was king, is it ? " Betty remarked, looking 
round. " Though some of the houses are larger and grander," 
she added. 

" You see many of them are built of brick and stone now. 
How handsome they are ! This sixteenth century is the age for 
beautifully-built dwelling-houses. We shall see many of them 
along the Strand presently, and scattered about all over the City 
as well." 

" There's Queen Eleanor's cross, and there are the fountains 
and the booths and the funny shops, just as they were," Betty 
observed. 

" The same crowds, the same noise, the same bustle ! " 
Godmother agreed. " The costume of the people is different, 
that's all. They look very well off and happy, don't they ? 
England has become richer and much more prosperous lately. 
There are signs of it everywhere as you will not be long in dis- 
covering." 

" But there are lots of the old houses left," Betty said. 

They had turned out of the Chepe, and were walking down a 
narrow lane bordered on either side by the timber houses she 
remembered from her last visit to old-time London, houses 
whose top stories so nearly met, that only a narrow strip of sky 
was visible between them. 

" Yes, and they will last till the Great Fire sweeps them all 
away in less than a hundred years' time. Now here we are at 
the Royal Exchange." 

They were out of the narrow lane now, and there, rising in 
front of them, was a fine, foreign-looking building of brick and 
stone with a high sloping roof, and pinnacles at the corners, upon 
each one of which was placed a huge metal grasshopper. 

" Do you remember the name of the street I pointed out to 
you near this spot this morning ? " asked Godmother. 

" Yes. Gresham Street. And we saw a big gilt grasshopper, 
something like those up there, hanging out from a doorway, 
in another street close by," Betty answered. 



IN TUDOR DAYS 89 

" Well, Gresham Street is named after the man who built that 
Exchange, Sir Thomas Gresham. And the grasshopper in Lom- 
bard Street is the Gresham crest. London in this reign of 
Elizabeth has become very rich and prosperous. Well, its 
riches and its prosperity have been so greatly increased by Sir 
Thomas Gresham, that I must tell you something about him. 
He is a great merchant who in this year, 1590, has a goldsmith's 
shop in Lombard Street at the sign of the Grasshopper. For 
though he has been knighted, and now has a great house in 
Bishopsgate Street, he still keeps his shop. When he was a 
younger man, he went to Antwerp, where there was a fine 
building for the use of the merchants in that city. Now in 
London, there was no convenient place for the use of merchants 
who wanted to discuss business, so on his return, Thomas 
Gresham built that Exchange you see before you, and made it 
as much as possible like the Exchange he had seen in Antwerp. 
That, you see, accounts for its foreign appearance. He then 
presented the mansion to the City of London, and invited Queen 
Elizabeth to open it, and it was she who called it The Royal 
Exchange (a name our present Exchange still keeps). Well, 
at the time at which we've arrived now, it has been open about 
twenty years, and has been so useful for commerce, that the 
trade of London has enormously increased. There are, of course, 
other reasons for the present wealth of the City, some of which 
we shall find out later. But that Royal Exchange has greatly 
helped its prosperity." 

" It's quite different from the one we have now," said Betty, 
" and it looks as though it ought to last for ages. Why isn't 
it standing in our day ? " 

" Because it was burnt down in the Great Fire, like so many 
other beautiful and interesting things. Then another one was 
built, and that also was burnt. So there have been two Royal 
Exchanges on the same spot as that on which the third our 
present one stands." 

" Sir Thomas Gresham, in this reign, is rather like what 
Dick Whittington was in the reign of Richard the Second, I 
suppose ? " Betty remarked. " Dick Whittington was a great 
merchant too, who did a lot of good for London." 



90 MAGIC LONDON 

" Yes, London has been very fortunate in having generous 
merchants." 

" Now let us go back to London Bridge, and see if we can 
find other reasons besides the Exchange for the increase of 
wealth and luxury in this city." 

As Betty followed her, she looked back at Sir Thomas Gres- 
ham's quaint building with its sloping roof, its high middle tower, 
and the gilded grasshoppers on its pinnacles. It was a very 
different place indeed from the one she had visited this very 
morning with all the roar and bustle of modern London round 
about it, but its purpose was the same. For now, as then, the 
Royal Exchange is the centre of London's enormous trade. 

When they reached the river again, Betty noticed at once 
how much more crowded the shipping had become than it was 
in the fourteenth century. 

On the side of the bridge towards the Tower, the broad sheet 
of water was filled with ships of a shape and build strange to her 
eyes, but picturesque and delightful in appearance. They were 
small, and had enormously high prows, coloured and gilded, and 
were hung with many gay flags and streamers. 

" Some of those ships have sailed across the Atlantic to the 
strange newly-discovered country of America," said Godmother. 
" Let us go down on to the quay, where you see the crowd of 
little boys round that sunburnt sailor. He is telling them all 
sorts of travellers' tales, you may be sure." 

Betty ran eagerly down a slimy wooden staircase on to the 
quay that was thronged with sailors unloading some ships that 
had newly arrived. A rough, strong-looking man with a face 
burnt almost black by the sun, and large gold rings hanging from 
his ears, was talking to a group of men and boys who listened 
breathlessly to stories about gold and jewels, about marvellous 
animals and still more marvellous men, about wonderful islands 
under hot blue skies, all of which the sailor had seen in his travels. 

Glancing at his audience, Betty saw by their faces how his 
words stirred their imagination and filled them with excitement. 

" Such stories of foreign travel are being told in every inn by 
sailors who have come back from new lands," said Godmother. 
" All through the present reign of Elizabeth, great English 



IN TUDOR DAYS 91 

sailors like Drake and Hawkins, of whom you've heard, have been 
making voyages, and coming back to London with gold and all 
sorts of merchandise." 

" That's one of the reasons why London is getting so rich, 
then ? " Betty asked. 

" One of the chief reasons. England has already beaten the 




Spanish Armada and become ' Mistress of the Seas,' and the 
ships you see here, go to and from this port of London increasing 
its trade and its riches every day. Now you understand why 
that Exchange built by Sir Thomas Gresham was so much needed 
as a meeting-place for merchants to arrange the enormous 
amount of business the sailors have won for them. London is 
becoming more and more a city of merchants, living in beautiful 
houses. We will go and look at one of them. It is called Crosby 



92 MAGIC LONDON 

Place, and it's not far from the Royal Exchange which we have 
just seen." 

" Crosby ? " echoed Betty. " But I thought it was some- 
where in Chelsea ? There's a Crosby Hall there. I passed it 
only the other day ! " 

"I'll explain that to you in a minute, when we've seen where 
the house stands now, where it was built, and where it ought 
to have remained in Bishopsgate Street." 

Before very long they had reached a most beautiful and 
stately mansion. It was of immense size, with windows wonder- 
fully sculptured in stone-work. It had a long noble hall and 
splendid gateways and outside staircases leading to doors enter- 
ing the building at different levels. A big garden surrounded it. 

" Oh, what a lovely place ! " exclaimed Betty. 

" It has such a wonderful history," Godmother said, " that I 
must tell you at least some of it." 

" It was built by a merchant, a rich grocer called Sir John 
Crosby, in the reign of Edward IV, so already in this reign of 
Elizabeth it's a hundred years old." 

" Who lives in it now ? " asked Betty. 

She was watching with interest the men and women moving 
about the courtyard in the costume of Elizabeth's time, the men 
with slashed sleeves to their bright-coloured doublets, and the 
women in brocade skirts, with big ruffs standing up at the back 
of the neck. 

" The Mayor of London, a merchant called Sir John Spencer, 
owns Crosby Place now. You see what splendid homes the 
merchants of this reign possess ! The nobles are leaving London 
and selling their palaces to the rich traders. But before Sir 
John Spencer bought it, many famous people from time to time 
had lived at Crosby Place. One of them was Richard the Third 
before he became king, and it was in that great hall that he 
heard the news of the murder of his little nephews in the Tower. 
Another celebrated man who lived here for a time, was Sir 
Thomas More, and here, as it is thought, he wrote his most famous 
book." 

" You mean Utopia, don't you ? " Betty asked. " We had a 
lesson about it in school yesterday ! " 



IN TUDOR DAYS 93 

" Yes, I'm glad you have heard of it. After he had been here 
some years, Sir Thomas More sold Crosby Place to a great friend 
of his, an Italian merchant, who, after the execution of his friend, 
let the mansion to the husband of Margaret Roper More's 
daughter." 

" Poor Margaret Roper ! " exclaimed Betty. " I expect she 
was glad to come back to the house her father had lived in, don't 
you, Godmother ? But she's dead now, I suppose in this 
reign of Elizabeth, I mean ? " 

" Yes. Crosby Place belongs now to the Mayor of London, 
as I've already said, and before long, his daughter, a very extrava- 
gant lady, married to Lord Northampton, will come to live 
here. Ill show you (when we slip back into our own day) an 
amusing letter from her to her husband in which she explains 
how she must have all her houses furnished. She was so rich 
that this Crosby Place was only one of them. But no doubt she 
rilled it with all the things she mentions in her letter, ' cushions, 
carpets, silver warming-pans, fair hangings/ and so forth. 

" Another woman of a very different sort will also come to 
live here very shortly. I mean Sir Philip Sidney's fascinating 
sister, the Countess of Pembroke, of whom you will read if you 
don't know anything about her already." 

" I do know a little. Sir Philip Sidney wrote the Arcadia 
for her, didn't he ? It does seem strange to think I'm in Queen 
Elizabeth's reign and that some of these famous people must 
be alive," said Betty. " But, Godmother, you haven't told 
me how the Hall of this beautiful house comes to be at Chelsea 
now ? " 

" I must finish its story quickly. A good many years ahead 
this splendid Crosby Place will be partly burnt down, though its 
Great Hall will escape. It will fall partly into ruins and actually 
be used as a warehouse ! Then almost in my day it will be 
restored, and finally become a restaurant. I remember having 
lunch there not so many years ago. But at last, not long before 
you were born, Betty, the Hall, all that remained of this 
Crosby Place you are magically seeing now, was pulled down 
to make room for modern buildings. But because it was so 
celebrated, and held so many memories of famous people, it 



94 



MAGIC LONDON 



was taken down carefully, and as well as possible put together 
again and built up on Chelsea Embankment/' 

" It's not a bit the same thing as having it here, where it 
belongs, though," Betty objected. " It's dreadful, I think." 

" I quite agree with you. It ought to have remained here in 




Bishopsgate Street. But let us enjoy our magic sight of it while 
we can, before we have to return to our own century." 

Just at the moment, Betty turned round quickly to look 
after a boy who passed, wearing a long dark blue coat, with a 
red leather belt round the waist, yellow stockings and a little 
white tab or cravat at his neck. 

" Why, there's a Blue Coat boy ! " she exclaimed. " What- 
ever is he doing in London in the reign of Elizabeth ? " 

" He might better ask you that question," returned God- 



IN TUDOR DAYS 95 

mother, laughing, " for he belongs to this age, and you don't. 
But he reminds me that we ought to go and look at some of the 
great schools, and as you're interested in that boy, we'll see his 
school first." 

A short walk brought them in sight of a stately pile of build- 
ings. 

"If we were back in our own century," said Godmother, 
" this spot on which we are standing, would be Newgate Street. 
Remember that, and now think of London as we saw it in the 
reign of Richard the Second. Do you remember the Grey 
Friars ? " 

" Yes, the monks in grey robes, with bare feet ? There were 
hundreds of them about." 

" Well, that's their splendid church and monastery, though 
the monks themselves are no longer there." 

" Henry the Eighth turned them out, I suppose ? " asked 
Betty. 

" Yes, he turned them out, and gave their dwelling to the 
City of London. Then his son, the young Protestant King 
Edward VI, came to the throne. Now only a few days before 
he died, Edward listened to a very touching sermon from one 
of the new Protestant bishops, about the need for looking after 
poor children who were fatherless. He was so impressed, that 
he set apart this Grey Friars' monastery to be a school for orphan 
boys for ever, and called it Christ's Hospital." 

" And it's still a school for them, isn't it ? " Betty exclaimed 
eagerly. " Why, my cousin Dick goes to it." But it's not in 
London now. Dick goes to school somewhere in the coun- 
try." 

"It's only about twenty years ago that Christ's Hospital, 
or, as we generally call it now, the Blue Coat School, was moved 
to Horsham in Sussex. Up to that time it stood here. At first, 
as you see, the boys were lodged and taught in the monastery 
that once belonged to the Grey Friars. Long years afterwards, 
the monastery part was pulled down and new houses built. 
But the school still stood on the old ground, and forty years 
ago, boys played over the place where hundreds of Grey Friars 
were buried. Now they play in green fields in the country, and 



96 MAGIC LONDON 

live in red-brick newly-built houses, and have a new red-brick 
chapel instead of this ancient church." 

" Isn't there any of it left in our time ? " asked Betty. 

Godmother shook her head. " Another and quite a different 
church stands on its site, and instead of the old Courts of Christ's 
Hospital, you will see when you come to this place in our day, 
a huge modern building the London Post Office." 

Betty sighed. " What a pity ! But even though the school 
is moved, I'm glad the boys still wear the same dress as they did 
in Edward the Sixth's time. That makes even the new school 
still interesting, doesn't it ? " 

" There go some of them," said Godmother, pointing to 
where in the distance two or three yellow-stockinged boys were 
running across a courtyard surrounded by walls that even in the 
reign of Elizabeth were ancient. " I saw their descendants 
playing football when I passed near Horsham in the train the 
other day. And from the look of them, they might have been 
the very same lads." 

"That is what's so interesting about London," Betty re- 
marked. " Though it's so changed now in the time to which we 
belong, I mean things that belong to the Past go on. In a 
different way, of course. But there's always something about 
them to show what they had to do with the Past, isn't there ? " 

" Yes, if it's only the name of a street," Godmother agreed. 
" Nearly every name in London is a magic key unlocking a door 
into some part or other of the Past. I'm glad you're beginning 
to find London not quite so dull," she added in a teasing voice. 

"It's simply wonderful when you see it by magic," Betty 
returned. 

" Every one can see it by magic if they take a little trouble," 
was Godmother's reply. 

" Are there any more big schools we can see ? " Betty asked, 
as they turned away from the great monastery that once held 
the Grey Friars, and was now peopled by boys. 

" Several. The century we are in, the sixteenth, is the great 
time for the starting of schools, many of which, like Christ's 
Hospital, are great schools to this day. For instance, close to 
St. Paul's, whose spire you can see from here, is the famous school 



IN TUDOR DAYS 



97 



of St. Paul's, begun, or founded, as we say, by Dean Colet, when 
Elizabeth's father, Henry the Eighth, was reigning. It's been 
more than fifty years in existence already." 




" And now it's at Hammersmith. Why, my brother Harry 
goes there ! " 

" So that makes it about four hundred years old in our day, 
doesn't it ? " said Godmother. " But it's still the same school. 
Then over there, is Charter House, where the boys are lodged in a 
monastery once belonging to certain monks called the Carthusians. 
They remained there till my day. But now, like the Blue Coat 



98 MAGIC LONDON 

boys, they have moved into the country to Godalming. They 
still call themselves Carthusians, though, in memory of the old 
monastery from which they came. Well go and see all that is 
left of Charter House when we slip back into our own age. It's 
still very interesting and beautiful. Just now we must move on, 
for there's so much in Elizabethan London to look at, that we 
can't spend too long over the schools. Well go back to London 
Bridge, because it's on the way to something I particularly want 
to show you." 

In a moment as it seemed, they were there, for one of the 
convenient things about these magic visits, as Betty had of course 
noticed, was that they were able to whisk from one place to 
another in a few seconds, instead of having to walk a long way 
to reach different parts of London. 

" Are we going over to Southwark ? " she asked, when they 
were half-way across the Bridge. 

" Yes, but before we get there I must explain what we are 
going to see, and find out how much you know about the great 
men who are living now in this sixteenth century with Elizabeth 
reigning. We'll sit down in the porch of the Chapel of St. 
Thomas." 

" This is where we sat before, two hundred years 
ago, when Richard the Second was king," murmured 
Betty. 

" And there are the English people still coming and going 
over London Bridge as almost in the same place they come and 
go in our own century to-day ! People of the same character, 
the descendants of those men and women we saw in the four- 
teenth century, and of these we see now in their doublets and 
hose, their ruffs and hoops. It's only their dress that changes 
after all," said Godmother, as though speaking to herself. 
" The Great War has proved that. . . . But I mustn't forget 
we are in the sixteenth century now, and not the twentieth," she 
added, smiling, " and you shall tell me, Betty, the names of some 
of the great men who are either living in London now, or at 
least often come to it." 

" Well, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins, and Sir 
Walter Raleigh," began Betty, thinking hard. 



IN TUDOR DAYS 99 

" Yes, those are three of the great sailors. Now let us have 
some of the great writers." 

" Shakespeare, and Kit Marlowe, and " Betty hesitated. 

" Oh yes, Edmund Spenser and Ben Jonson, and " 

Godmother nodded. " There are many more, but let us 
keep to the four men you've mentioned. Out of those four, three 
of them are play-writers, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Ben Jonson. 
When you see a Shakespeare play now, you go to a big theatre, 
don't you, where according to what you can afford, you sit 
either in the stalls or dress circle, or upper circle, or pit, or 
gallery ? Facing you, is a large stage, with scenery arranged 
to represent the different scenes of the play as they pass, and 
sometimes this scenery is very beautiful. Curtains go up and 
down to hide, or to reveal the stage at the right moments, and 
the audience sits in comfort in what is often a fine building." 

" Yes," said Betty, nodding her head. 

" Now, remembering our modern theatres, come and see the 
places in which Shakespeare's plays are acted in this sixteenth 
century in which we find ourselves ! " 

They went on over the bridge to that part of Southwark lying 
along the shore of the river, which is now called Bankside. But 
instead of the modern warehouses and breweries lining the river, 
with the streets of South London stretching away and away 
beyond, Betty saw only a single row of small gabled houses 
along the top of a mound. 

" Before that bank was thrown up, all the ground on this 
south side of the river was under water at high tide," explained 
Godmother. " Now, as you see, meadows and gardens stretch 
behind these houses and it is all fertile land." 

" What are those funny-looking buildings dotted about in the 
fields ? " Betty asked. " I don't mean the inns, because I 
remember them, from the time of Richard the Second. There's 
the Tabard, where we saw the pilgrims. But there are two or 
three buildings sticking up like towers. Do you see ? " 

" Those are the theatres. Come and see one of them. We'll 
go into one that has just been built The Globe, as it is called." 

Betty followed the old lady wonderingly as she led the way 
to the right, along a path by the river till they came close to a 



ioo MAGIC LONDON 

curious, tall, six-sided building. Over its door was an inscription 
in Latin. 

" What does it mean ? " Betty asked, as she gazed at this 
strange " theatre." 

"Well, we may translate it 'All the world's a stage.'" 

" Why, that's in ' Shakespeare ! ' " 

" Yes, and no doubt Shakespeare had that very inscription in 
mind when he wrote the line a few years ago remember we are in 
Elizabeth's reign ! in As you Like It." 

" Are they acting now ? The play can't have begun yet. 
There's such a noise going on inside." 

Betty glanced about her at the crowd entering the theatre. 
Every now and then a boat rowed across from the opposite shore, 
would land a company of richly-dressed young men who, laughing 
and swaggering, pushed their way through the throng and went 
into the building. 

" We'll go too," said Godmother. 

In a moment Betty found herself in a round wooden place, 
part of which was open to the sky, though the stage facing her, 
was protected by an overhanging thatched roof. Three galleries, 
one above the other, ran round the theatre, and these were 
thronged with people. On the stage, which jutted out into the 
open-air part of the building, another smaller stage was set with 
a gallery above it, filled with musicians in funny tall hats trimmed 
with ribbons. Some young men were sitting actually on the 
stage itself, while the poorer people stood in the open space in 
front of it, with nothing but the sky above their heads. There 
was a perfect babel of noise, for hawkers were moving about 
calling nuts and ale and apples to sell, the young gallants on the 
stage were playing at dice and quarrelling, and the whole place 
seemed in confusion. Then there was a nourish of trumpets 
from the musicians' gallery and suddenly everything was 
quiet. 

" There have been two trumpet sounds before we came in," 
Godmother explained. " This third one means that the play 
is going to begin." 

" I know what it is," whispered Betty. " I saw some funny 
little play-bills on the door outside. It's Richard the Second 



IN TUDOR DAYS 101 

and that's all about the very reign we were in when we came to 
old London last time ! " 

Her eyes were now fixed on the stage, which was hung round 
with curtains, and strewn with green rushes. There was no 
scenery except one roughly-painted canvas stretched across the 
back of the smaller stage, above which, on a board, was written 
King Richard's Palace. 

" That was Westminster, wasn't it ? " whispered Betty, just 
as King Richard himself, John of Gaunt and a train of nobles 
walked on to the stage, and the King began his first speech. 

" Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster " 

" But they're none of them dressed a bit like the people they're 
meant to be," she objected. " They're wearing the same sort of 
clothes as the people in the audience have on ! " 

" Yes, the Elizabethans don't trouble about that," God- 
mother replied, " and neither right costume nor proper scenery 
makes good acting, you know. If we had time to stay and listen, 
we should hear this play very well acted. Do you notice how 
breathlessly quiet the audience is ? " 

Betty followed her guide reluctantly out of this strange 
theatre, looking back at the curtain-hung stage, with the young 
men in their short velvet cloaks, seated on stools close to the 
players, at the crowd standing in the open space under the blue 
sky, and at the circular galleries thronged with people. 

" So that's how the theatres we go to now, began, I suppose? " 
she asked. 

" Not quite. Even that rough, simple sort of building we've 
just left is an advance upon what the grandfathers of these 
people saw in the way of stage performances. Till the Globe, 
and one or two other theatres (which I'll show you in a minute) 
were built, a few years ago, the plays were acted in the courtyards 
of inns. Let us come into the yard of this one, and I'll explain." 

They went under an archway, and found themselves outside 
the Falcon Inn. 

" There," said Godmother, pointing to the wooden galleries 
into which the rooms of the tavern opened. " Inns like this 
one, were the first theatres. The stage was a number of boards 
laid upon trestles, and placed at the end of the courtyard. The 



102 MAGIC LONDON 

poorer people stood here where we are standing, in the middle 
of the yard, and from the galleries, the richer people looked on. 
You see how the same sort of arrangement goes on in the new 
Globe theatre, only it is built in a circle, instead of in a square, 
and the stage at least, is protected from the weather by 
a roof. If you think of any theatre in our own day, you 
will see that there's more than a memory in it, of these inns, and 
that rough building from which we've just come. The pit is the 
yard, or open space. The Dress Circle and ' Gallery ; corre- 
spond to the galleries round the inn, or round a building like the 
Globe. So the most modern up-to-date play-house in our century 
is really only the great-great-grandchild of the play-house in 
Elizabeth's day ! " 

" And even before her time there were the miracle plays, 
where at least there was a stage and actors," said Betty. " Do 
they still act miracle plays, now, in this sixteenth century ? " 

Godmother shook her head. " Not often. The people, you 
see, are better educated now, and have grown out of them 
especially as they have splendid stirring plays written by great 
men who are alive amongst them, like Shakespeare and Marlowe 
and Ben Jonson. We may have learnt how to make fine scenery 
and luxurious theatres in our day, but we can't write plays like 
William Shakespeare's. By the way," she added, " he lives over 
here in Southwark, not far from the great church of St. Saviour's. 
He hasn't yet left London to go back to his old home in Stratford- 
on-Avon." 

"I do hope we shall see him ! " Betty exclaimed. . . . 
" What are these other buildings along the river, Godmother ? " 

" Some of them are theatres, more or less like the Globe, with 
pretty names such as the Rose and the Swan. That place some way 
farther up, where you see a crowd of people and a few roofs, is 
the famous Paris-Gardens, where poor wretched bears are kept, 
and baited for the people's amusement. A horrible so-called 
sport ! But the rich young noblemen enjoy the sight quite as 
much as the roughs do, and Paris-Gardens is a very fashionable 
place of amusement." 

" But they have to come over the river to it every time," 
Betty observed. " I wonder why all the theatres and amuse- 



IN TUDOR DAYS 103 

ments were put here, and not close to where the rich people 
live ? " 

" There's a reason for that. In London there's a very strong 
party, growing every year stronger, called the Puritan party. 
These men hate the theatre, and think all amusement ' godless/ 
and as many of them are men who manage city affairs, they 
won't allow theatres in London itself. But here in Southwark, 
they have no power, so that's why the theatres are over on this 
south side of the river, where the Puritans can't prevent them 
from being built." 

" Queen Elizabeth isn't like that, though, is she ? Like the 
Puritans, I mean ? " 

" Not a bit," laughed Godmother. " She loves every kind 
of amusement, acting and dancing especially. She dances 
herself, though she's getting quite old. You remind me that 
now we've seen something of the life of the people in their business 
and pleasure, we must also take a glimpse of the Court and of 
the men and women surrounding the Queen. Not that she shuts 
herself away from her subjects. Far from it. Never was there 
a queen so popular as ' Good Queen Bess ! ' Every time she 
moves from one place to another there is a triumphal procession. 
To-day, for instance, she is coming back from her palace at 
Greenwich, which is down the river there, and she will ride in 
state through the Chepe." 

" Oh ! can't we see her ? " Betty implored. 

" Certainly we will." 

They hastened over the bridge, and much more quickly 
than they could have made the journey in what Betty called 
ww-magic time, found themselves somehow or other seated at a 
window overlooking the Chepe. The market-place below was 
gaily decorated and crowded by eager people. Soon cheers 
announced that the Queen was in sight, and in a moment or two 
she passed the window from which they were leaning, riding on 
a white horse covered with splendid trappings. A very hand- 
some young man dressed in white and silver, with a blue velvet 
cloak flung back from his shoulder, led the horse by the bridle. 

" That's the Earl of Essex," Godmother said. " The Queen's 
present favourite." 



io 4 



MAGIC LONDON 



Betty glanced at him admiringly, and then at the Queen, 
who was gorgeous in velvet and jewels, her long cloak falling in 
heavy folds about her. She wore a red frizzled wig, and her 
face was lined and old. Evidently the people loved her, for 
they cheered themselves hoarse, and as she passed, fell on their 




\ 



knees in the road. Every now and then, in answer to their 
shouts of welcome, she bowed and exclaimed in a clear voice, 
" Thank ye, my good people ! " Following her came a crowd of 
pretty ladies, some in litters, others on horseback, and all 
beautifully dressed in white. 

" Those are the Maids of Honour," Godmother explained, 




THE ROYAL BARGK 



IN TUDOR DAYS 105 

" and these " as a train of gallant noblemen rode by " are 
the courtiers who always travel about with the Queen." 

" She's going to the palace of Westminster, I suppose ? " 
Betty inquired. 

" No. Don't you remember I told you that the kings and 
queens of England no longer live there ? Since we last saw 
London, a great new palace has risen the Palace of Whitehall." 

" We drove down Whitehall this morning ! " 

" We did. And if you remember, I told you to imagine all 
the houses on the left of it swept away so that the river could 
be seen. Well, the Whitehall Palace in which Queen Elizabeth 
lives part of the year, covers all the ground between St. James's 
Park and the Thames, as you will see in a moment. The Queen 
will ride down to the river now, and finish the journey by water, 
so let us follow her." 

The procession was out of sight by this time, but when Betty 
reached the river, she saw the Queen just stepping into a huge 
painted and gilded boat, drawn up against one of the landing 
stages. 

" That's the royal barge," Godmother told her. " It's been 
waiting there for her. We'll get into this little boat and follow 
it up to Whitehall. Little does our waterman know that he will 
have two invisible passengers to row ! " 

Betty laughed as she sprang into the boat. It was the first 
time to-day that she had been on the river, and she could 
scarcely contain her delight at the beauty of the scene. On the 
surface of the clear sparkling water, floated numberless barges 
following the splendid one in which the Queen, her Maids of 
Honour, and several courtiers were seated. The barges were 
painted with bright colours and had gilded prows, and brilliant 
canopies of silk were stretched above them. Swans with snowy 
wings circled round the barges, from many of which came the 
sound of music and singing. 

Looking back, she saw London Bridge with its quaint houses 
clinging to it like limpets, and the throngs of people leaning from 
the windows watching the crowded procession of boats moving 
towards Whitehall. 

" Oh, Godmother, if only the river looked like this now in 



106 MAGIC LONDON 

our time, I mean ! All bright and clear, with no smoke about, 
and with all these beautiful barges on it ! " 

" Yes, as you see, in Queen Elizabeth's day people use the 
river as the means of getting from one part of London to another. 
It is the great water road of the city, and in this age, one takes 
a boat, or enters a barge instead of a taxi or an omnibus." 

" There are ever so many more great houses on the banks 
than there were in Richard the Second's time," Betty exclaimed, 
looking at the splendid mansions, each one standing in its own 
garden, stretching in a line along the Strand. The Strand, 
however, she noticed was still more or less of a country road, 
with fields and orchards at the back of it. 

" The Savoy Palace still stands, you see," Godmother said, 
" though it has been rebuilt. That great pile not far from it 
with the round towers, is Durham House, where Lady Jane Grey 
was born. Elizabeth has lately given it to Sir Walter Raleigh, 
the famous sailor and writer. He has a little study up in that 
turret." 

" He's one of Elizabeth's favourites, isn't he ? Oh yes, it 
was Walter Raleigh who once put down his cloak for the Queen 
to walk on. What a lovely view over the river he must have 
from his study." 

" That's York House," Godmother went on, pointing to the 
next mansion, " and there lives another famous man of Eliza- 
beth's day, Sir Francis Bacon. Later on, in the next reign, it 
will be the home of the great Duke of Buckingham, and there's 
still a tiny bit left of it in our own day, which you can see when 
you turn down out of the Strand to go to Charing Cross Under- 
ground Station." 

" I know ! A big stone gate ? " 

Godmother nodded. " Which of course at that time stood 
at the edge of the water. It was the Water Gate to the Duke 
of Buckingham's palace. But to-day of course we shall not see 
it, for it isn't yet built. We've passed Somerset House, but " 

" Somerset House ? " interrupted Betty. " That's still 
standing anyway ! The front of it is in the Strand, and the back 
looks over the river, doesn't it ? Why, King's College is part of 
Somerset House, and people I know, go there for examinations ! " 



IN TUDOR DAYS 107 

" Yes. Somerset House still stands, and is a fine place, but 
it has all been rebuilt in quite a different style from the house 
we've just passed." There was a moment's silence before God- 
mother said : " Here is the royal landing-place for Whitehall ! 
The Queen and her train of attendants have gone up the steps 
into the palace, which, by the way, you mustn't think of as one 
big house, but rather as a number of separate buildings, scattered 
over the ground where now stand all the big Government offices 
like the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the Colonial Office, where, 
in our day, the business of governing our country is done. Eliza- 
beth's father, Henry the Eighth, has not long ago added to, and 
rebuilt much of the palace which he took from his famous 
minister, Cardinal Wolsey. Whitehall belonged to Wolsey before 
he fell into disgrace, and King Henry was only too glad to get 
such a splendid palace. You can see from here, the line of a 
great hall he added to it. It's there that some of the masques 
of which his daughter Elizabeth is so fond, are often acted." 

" Masques ? What are they ? " Betty inquired. " Aren't 
we going to see the palace ? " she went on in the same breath. 

" I think we'll leave the palace till the next of our magic visits 
to London, when we shall see it at the height of its glory. We 
can land here though, and sit in this part of the royal garden 
while I tell you something about the Court Masques." 

Betty followed her godmother up some steps from the landing- 
stage, and sat down beside her on a marble bench behind which 
ran a yew hedge, shutting off the view of the palace beyond. 

" Let me see if I can guess where we are now, if we were 
back in our own time, I mean," she began. " I suppose this 
shady walk would be the part of the Victoria Embankment near 
Westminster Bridge ? " 

" That's about right," agreed Godmother approvingly. 
" Right and left of us we should see bridges crossing the river 
where now we see none at all. For London Bridge is out of 
sight, and that's the only one that yet exists. 

" But now let me tell you a little about the Court Masques. 
. . . You saw how very roughly and simply the splendid plays 
of Shakespeare and the other play-writers, are performed in the 
newly-built theatres on Bankside ? Well, there's nothing rough 



io8 MAGIC LONDON 

or simple about the performances called masques which take 
place sometimes in the palace yonder, sometimes in one or 
other of the beautiful halls of the great houses scattered about 
the city. These masques are not true plays. They are generally 
little scenes written for special occasions the Queen's birthday 
perhaps, or the anniversary of the day she came to the throne, 
for instance. They are usually written in the form of an allegory, 
in which such figures as Justice, Mercy, or Love appear. But 
they are presented with the utmost magnificence in the way 
of dresses and scenery, and beautiful surroundings, and it has 
become the fashion for the great noblemen as well as the Queen 
to keep companies of well-trained actors ready to perform when- 
ever a masque or a play is to be given at Court. The Queen 
has groups of children trained to act in these masques, some of 
which are written by true poets, like Ben Jonson, and the scenery 
and costumes are designed by true artists. Inigo Jones is one 
of them. But the best of the masques written by Ben Jonson 
and ' produced,' as we say, in our century, by Inigo Jones, will be 
given in a few years' time, when James the First is king. I want 
you to remember, however, that the sixteenth century is the 
great time for plays of all sorts. We saw how the theatres on 
Bankside were crowded. Everywhere, not only in the theatres, 
but in private houses, and public halls, acting is going on, and 
plays are being written to meet the taste for it. This is the great 
age of the drama and London is full of geniuses who are play- 
writers and poets." 

" Oh ! I think it's even more interesting than the last time 
we saw it in the Middle Ages," Betty declared, as they stepped 
again into the boat whose waterman seemed to have been 
waiting for them. " I should love to stay in Queen Elizabeth's 
London for weeks." 

" We've only had a glimpse of it," said Godmother, " but 
even this glimpse is enough, I hope, to show you that London is 
full of life and energy in the sixteenth century. Full of great 
men who love and are proud of England, and have already made 
her a famous country. If we had stayed longer just now at the 
Globe theatre where King Richard the Second was being played, 
we should have heard what Shakespeare wrote this very year 



IN TUDOR DAYS 109 

about England. He put his own thoughts about our country 
into the mouth of the dying John of Gaunt, who calls England 
' this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea,' and, 
later in his speech, 

' This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land, 
Dear for her reputation through the world . . . 
. . . England bound in by the triumphant sea.' 

It is good to think that Shakespeare is living in London now, and 
has been for many years a Londoner." 

" I do wish we could see him ! " sighed Betty. 

It was growing dusk. Lights were already twinkling from 
the windows of the great houses on the Strand, but the last glow 
of sunset lingered on the river, where the swans floated between 
the stately barges that passed to and fro. 

" ' Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,' " quoted 
Godmother, after a long silence. 

" What is that ? " Betty asked. 

" It's the line with which each verse of a beautiful poem 
ends. It was written not long ago by Edmund Spenser, who 
is one of the great poets of this marvellous time, and he com- 
posed it in honour of the marriage of two girls, the ladies Eliza- 
beth and Katherine Somerset. We are passing their home," 
replied Godmother, pointing to Somerset House. 

" The Thames is running softly," said Betty, as they drew 
near to a landing-stage on the Southwark side of London Bridge. 
" Isn't it all quiet ? " 

And indeed there was a strange hush everywhere. Even the 
boatman's oars made no sound as he drew them out of the water, 
and when they landed and walked up a lane with a row of gabled 
houses on one side of it, the people they passed, flitted by like 
ghosts. 

It was nearly dark now, and only one dim lantern slung on a 
rope across the lane showed the way. Every now and then, 
however, a man or boy passed, carrying a lighted torch which 
flung a ruddy glare across the road. 

" We are passing St. Saviour's Church," said Betty, 
looking up at its tower dark against the stars. 



no 



MAGIC LONDON 



Just as she spoke, a man wrapped in a cloak hurried by, 
making no sound, and entered a house opposite the church. The 
light from a torch fell for a moment upon him, giving Betty a 
glimpse of him before he closed the door. 

" That's William Shakespeare," whispered Godmother. 

Betty rubbed her 
eyes. 

" Oh ! I'm so sorry 
to come back ! " she 
exclaimed, glancing 
round the parlour. 

" To come forward, 
you mean," Godmother 
corrected her, smiling. 
" We've leapt more than 
three hundred years on- 
wards since a second 
ago." 

Can't we go at 
once to Southwark while 
it's all fresh in my 
mind ? " urged Betty. 
" I should like to see 
how that part of London 
where we've just seen 
Shakespeare, looks 
now." 

" Very well. We can't have the car out again, but we'll go 
on the top of an omnibus that runs over London Bridge, and 
you shall see all that remains to be seen, of the Southwark Shake- 
speare knew when he lived there." 

Rather more than half an hour later as they approached the 
south end of the bridge, Godmother pointed to the right. " That's 
where you saw the Globe and the Rose theatres, and farther 
down the river, you remember we saw in the distance Paris- 
Gardens." 

" Oh, how different it is now ! " Betty said, looking at the 




IN TUDOR DAYS in 

crowded warehouses and dingy houses along the waterside. 
" There's nothing of it left." 

" Nothing but the names of streets. Come down this one, 
now called Park Street. Look. That turning is Rose Alley." 

" Then here was the Rose Theatre ? " Betty exclaimed, 
glancing up the dingy, grimy little road. 

" Now look at the tablet on this brewery which tells us that 
here stood the Globe Theatre. It may have done ; though some 
people think it is not the exact site." 

They walked farther along by the river's edge, towards the 
next bridge, till Betty saw painted up at the entrance to another 
dingy street, Bear Gardens. 

" From that name you know that you are on the spot where 
some of the poor bears were baited," said Godmother, " and 
having so recently seen Southwark as it was, you can in imagina- 
tion sweep away all these dreary streets and see the green fields 
and gardens round each of the separate buildings. Now we'll 
go back to London Bridge, and walk straight on from it up 
what is now called the Borough High Street in Southwark. 

" This," she explained when they reached the crowded 
thoroughfare, " as you remember, was the country road along 
which, in the fourteenth century, the pilgrims passed on their 
way to Canterbury. Look on the left of the street for names of 
turnings which will bring the line of inns back to your memory. 
Here ," she stopped at a turning called Talbot Yard " was 
the Tabard you visited in Chaucer's day, and as it was standing 
when Shakespeare lived here, he too must often have visited it." 

" But why isn't it called Tabard Yard ? " 

" It was burnt down about seventy years after Shakespeare's 
day, and rebuilt and re-christened, but this is the actual place 
on which the old Tabard stood. Let us cross the road. Do you 
see that Court nearly opposite ? " 

" St. Margaret's Court," Betty read as they turned into a 
dingy-looking place with rather old but very poverty-stricken 
houses on either side. " Why, this must be where St. Margaret's 
Church stood, and where we saw the Miracle play in the Middle 
Ages ! " 

" It is. The church was still there when Shakespeare lived, 



H2 MAGIC LONDON 

though I doubt whether he saw a Miracle play acted. They 
had gone out of fashion in his day." 

" Well, I'm glad that at least the names of the old places 
are kept," sighed Betty, " for there's nothing else, is there ? 
It's all ugly and dirty and modern now. How I wish even one 
bit of an old inn was left ! " 

" Well, you have your wish," said Godmother. " There is 
one tiny bit of an inn left standing. Come in here." 

They recrossed the road, and at No. 77 in the High Street 
entered a yard, the end of which was occupied by the carts and 
other belongings of a railway. But on the right, with its two 
rows of wooden galleries still there, stretched one wall of an 
ancient tavern. 

" This is the George Inn, and, so far as I know, the only old 
one left in Southwark," Godmother said. " Having seen the 
Tabard Inn as it looked in the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare, 
you can sweep away in thought, all the railway part of the yard, 
and see it as it used to be. But I agree with you that except 
for its memories, Southwark is dreary enough, though even now 
at the back of this High Street where in ancient times so many 
processions have passed in and out of London, there are old 
houses still standing." 

They took an omnibus again at the beginning of London 
Bridge, and looking back towards St. Saviour's Church, she 
added, " There's the only building which Shakespeare would 
recognize to-day, and even that is much altered since he lived 
near it three hundred years ago or more." 

" You said you'd take me to see the Charterhouse. Can't 
we go now ? " urged Betty, almost before they were off the 
bridge. 

Godmother laughed. " Haven't you had enough sight-seeing 
yet ? Well, as what we've just been looking at isn't beautiful, 
however interesting it may be, we'll end our excursion at Charter- 
house. You shall see there, not only a really lovely place, but 
the only one of the great London schools which in our day looks 
more or less as it did in the sixteenth century. This same 
omnibus will take us near it, so on the way I'll tell you a little 
of its history." 



IN TUDOR DAYS 113 

" You said it was a monastery before it was a school, didn't 
you ? " 

" Yes, it was a monastery when your friend Richard the 
Second was reigning, and remained a monastery till the time of 
Henry the Eighth, when the monks were turned out. In Eliza- 
beth's reign, the place was sold to the Duke of Norfolk, who altered 
it to make it suitable for a private house. A little later and 
here the school part comes in the Duke of Norfolk sold it again 
to a rich man called Thomas Sutton, who turned it into a home 
of rest for old gentlemen and a school for boys. The school, as 
you know, has in our day moved into the country, but as a home 
for poor gentlemen who are still called ' the Brethren,' Charter- 
house goes on to this day. 

" We must get down here, at the Church of St. Sepulchre's 
in Holborn, and walk through Smithfield," she broke off to say, 
as the omnibus at the moment, stopped. 

" Smithfield ? Is this where the martyrs were burnt ? " 
asked Betty while they crossed a wide space in front of the 
modern market. 

" Yes. It's full of memories, and all round about it there 
are wonderful buildings that we shall have no time to see to-day. 
Here we are at the entrance gate of the Charterhouse." 

They passed into a courtyard so quiet and old-world that 
for the moment Betty forgot that " the magic " was not working 
now, and thought herself once more back again in the sixteenth 
century. Indeed but for the modern clothes of the porter who 
showed them the place, she was as completely there, as she had 
been a few hours previously. 

As they presently went up a splendid carved oak staircase, 
Godmother said, " You see here a beautiful private house and 
the remains of a monastery and of a great school, all in one, 
and that's what makes Charterhouse specially interesting." 

A little while later Betty cried out in delight when they 
entered the dining-hall where once upon a time Queen Elizabeth 
was entertained by the Duke of Norfolk in the sixteenth century, 
and where that very evening of the twentieth century the poor 
gentlemen, " the Brethren " as they are still called, would dine 
as usual. 



H4 MAGIC LONDON 

" What a beautiful room ! " she exclaimed, looking at its 
arched roof and panelled walls. 

" It's a very fine example of a sixteenth-century hall," God- 
mother agreed. " There's the minstrels' gallery opposite us, 
you see, where no doubt the musicians played their best when 
Queen Elizabeth was here to listen to them." 

" I don't know which I like best, the Chapel we've just seen, 
or this Hall, or the Library, or the pretty Gardens where ' the 
Brethren ' are walking or sitting," Betty declared. " What a 
lovely place for them to have. I'm so glad Sir Thomas Sutton 
left it to be a home always for poor gentlemen. But what a 
pity that the boys have all gone ! " 

" Yes, it's sad, but even the present Charterhouse boys, who 
have, of course, never lived in this old place at all (because it's 
fifty years since the school was moved to Godalming), are very 
proud of this ancient dwelling which they feel still belongs to 
them. Did you notice that new marble tablet in the stone 
passage or cloister, as it is called, leading to the Chapel ? On it 
are written the names of Charterhouse boys who fell a year or 
two ago in the Great War and are commemorated in the old 
school-house. Many famous men have been educated here, of 
whom you'll learn something when you know more about the 
literature and history of our country. But there's one of whom 
you may have heard. He was a boy here and afterwards wrote 
a celebrated novel in which Charterhouse plays a part." 

" Thackeray wrote about it in The Newcomes, I know ! and 
I've just read it ! " Betty exclaimed. " In the book, Colonel 
Newcome comes here and is one of the poor brothers. Thack- 
eray was alive not so very long ago, wasn't he ? " 

" It seems to me a very little while ago," Godmother answered, 
" but it's considerably over fifty years since he died, as I dis- 
covered just now by looking at the tablet to his memory in the 
Chapel Cloister/' 

" Oh ! I'm so glad I've seen this place," Betty said as they 
were leaving, and she turned at the gate to look back at a sunny 
courtyard with a glimpse of green lawn beyond. " I shall read 
The Newcomes again now, and imagine old Colonel Newcome 
walking just here. I had no idea there were such beautiful 



IN TUDOR DAYS 115 

places in London, Godmother even without the magic, I 
mean," she added. 

" Thousands of people live in this wonderful city of ours 
and never find them never even take any trouble to know of 
their existence," was Godmother's reply. " And that seems 
strange to me, and also a great pity. They lose much pleasure." 

Betty would gladly have lingered in Smithfield, and was full 
of questions about various buildings which attracted her atten- 
tion, but Godmother hurried her away even from the great 
beautiful church of St. Bartholomew near the Charterhouse. 

" We must visit that another time," she declared. " We've 
done enough for the present. But before next Saturday," she 
added, "go to the London Museum. You will find all sorts of 
things in it to interest you if you keep in mind what we've seen 
to-day. Go to the gallery in the basement and look at the model 
of London in the sixteenth century. You will see the bridge 
with the quaint houses clinging to it, and recognize some of the 
buildings we saw on our magic visit. Then look at the big model 
of the Tower in another room. Because it was more or less 
like that model in Elizabeth's day, and indeed except for the 
water in the moat, it has nearly the same appearance now. 

" Don't forget also to look for the life-size figure of Queen 
Elizabeth on horseback and one of the courtiers leading her horse. 
That also is in the basement of the Museum, and will remind 
you of how you saw her riding through the Chepe. There are, 
in fact, dozens of things in the Museum belonging to London of 
the sixteenth century that ought to be full of meaning to you 
now." 

" And Shakespeare's plays will be more interesting too, and 
Edmund Spenser's poetry, and all about Raleigh, and Drake," 
exclaimed Betty rather incoherently. " Oh, the magic makes 
all the difference, Godmother ! " 




IV 

The Restoration 

THE LONDON OF CHARLES II AND OF MR. SAMUEL 

PEPYS 

E can't go for a drive to-day before the ' magic ' 
begins," said Betty ruefully on the following 
Saturday, a day of pouring rain. 

" No. But how lucky that the rain won't interfere with our 
visit to the London of Charles the Second," Godmother returned. 

" Is that what we're going to see to-day ? Oh, do let's go 
at once, Godmother," was Betty's eager reply. 

" Wait a little. I'm going to give you a short history exam- 
ination first, to make sure that you will understand what we 
see, when we do see it. Elizabeth was reigning when we last 
went to old London. Who was the next king ? " 

" Her cousin James the First, the son of Mary, Queen of 
Scots," returned Betty promptly. " We've just had it in the 
History class," she added, to explain her readiness. 

" And then ? " 

" His son, Charles the First. And he was beheaded, and 
then Cromwell ruled and was called the Protector, and when 
he died, the people wanted a king again, so they sent for Charles 
the First's son from abroad, and he was crowned, and that was 
called the Restoration," said Betty very fluently. 

Godmother nodded. " The Restoration of course meaning 
the restoring of kings to the English throne. Now Elizabeth 
died in the year 1603, and Charles the Second was crowned in 

117 



n8 MAGIC LONDON 

1660, so as the London we shall see will only be about sixty years 
older than it was in the time of Elizabeth, you wouldn't expect 
to find it much altered, would you ? " 

" No. Except that I suppose it will be a little bigger ? " 

" Yet during the reign of Charles the Second, London was 
almost completely changed for a reason you will understand 
presently," Godmother returned. " Now before we go back to 
Restoration days, I want to tell you something about a man 
who lived in London in the time of Charles the Second. His 
name was Samuel Pepys. He was educated at that St. Paul's 
School we talked about when we looked at some of the great 
schools that had just begun to flourish in the reign of Elizabeth. 
Afterwards he went to Cambridge, and then for some years he 
held posts in the Admiralty, that is the great office in which 
the affairs of the Navy are managed. We have passed the street 
he lived in, many times on our journeys to London Bridge. It 
is called Seething Lane, and is close to the bridge, and not far 
from the Monument." 

" I remember seeing it," Betty answered. 

" Well, he was not a great man, though he was industrious 
and did his work well. He was vain and stingy, and had a 
great many petty faults, though on the whole he was lovable 
and kind-hearted. But we can never think of the days of Charles 
the Second without thinking of Samuel Pepys, and I'll tell you 
why. He had the habit of keeping a diary, and that diary, 
now printed, is one of the most interesting and amusing books 
you can imagine. It is also very valuable, because as Pepys 
was a great gossip, and described everything he did, and every- 
thing he saw, and every place he went to, very fully, we seem to 
know the life of London in his day almost as though we had 
lived it ourselves." 

" Shall we see him ? " asked Betty with interest. 

" We are sure to. He went a great deal to the Palace of 
Whitehall, so perhaps we shall meet him there. Anyhow I can't 
imagine going to London any time between 1660 and 1670 with- 
out seeing Samuel Pepys. I think it is he who must take us 
back to Restoration London." 

Godmother went to the Cabinet where the magic talismans 



THE RESTORATION 119 

were kept, and took out a book. " Here is his ' Diary.' Shut 
your eyes, and I'll read you what he wrote in it one May, two 
hundred and sixty years ago. He is recording in his ' Diary ' 
how he spent that day, now so far in the past. 

" ' To Westminster. In the way meeting many milkmaids 
with their garlands upon their pails, dancing with a fiddler before 
them, and saw pretty Nelly standing at her lodging door. . . . 
She seemed a mighty pretty creature.' ' 

" Who was ' pretty Nelly ' ? " asked Betty, holding the book 
which Godmother put in her hand in the special " magic " way. 

" You will see her if you look now." 

Betty's eyes flew open upon a charming scene. 

In place of the ordinary-looking street of Drury Lane, lead- 
ing at one end into the Strand, she saw a road lined with gabled 
dwellings, rather like the old houses still left over Staple Inn in 
Holborn. The houses were not very close together, and slips 
of garden with trees in them, gave the " lane " a countrified 
look. A group of girls wearing muslin caps, short skirts and 
frilled aprons, and carrying milk-pails slung from their shoulders, 
came dancing down the road to the music played on a fiddle by a 
man who walked in front of them. From the milk-pails hung 
garlands of bluebells and cowslips, and some of the girls carried 
on their heads instead of pails, little pyramids of silver plates 
adorned with ribbons and flowers. 

Opposite to where Betty and her godmother found themselves 
standing, leaning in the door of one of the gabled houses, was a 
pretty, merry-looking little creature, who had evidently only just 
got up, for she wore a flowered bed-jacket over her short skirt, 
and a night-cap trimmed with pink ribbons. 

" That's ' pretty witty Nelly,' " said Godmother. " Nell 
Gwynne, the famous actress. She often plays at Drury Lane 
Theatre, lower down the road, and the King greatly admires 
her." 

" Why, there was a play acted in London not very long ago 
called Sweet Nell of Old Drury, wasn't there ? "Betty exclaimed. 
" Mother was talking about it the other day." 

" Yes, a modern play with ' sweet Nell ' as heroine. Well, 
there she is. And this is ' Old Drury ' where she lives." 



120 MAGIC LONDON 

Just at the moment, the milkmaids and the fiddler stopped 
before Nell Gwynne's house, and began to sing. 

" London, to thee I do present 
The merry month of May " 

Betty heard these words, but the rest of the song was drowned 
by the loud music of the fiddle, and the laughter of the girls, in 
which the charming little actress joined as they came crowding 
round her to take the coins she distributed right and left. 

" If you look round," said Godmother, " you will see Samuel 
Pepys, who is a great admirer of pretty Nelly, watching this 
little scene." 

Betty turned her head, and saw a fat-faced, good-natured, 
rather conceited-looking man grandly dressed in a black satin 
coat with silver buttons, huge sleeves made of fine white lawn, a 
lace cravat, and a wig with long curls. A sword in a scabbard 
hung at his side, and he carried a tall gold-mounted cane. 

" He is very gorgeous because he is going on to Court to 
the Palace of Whitehall," said Godmother. " But we will follow 
the milkmaids to the Maypole." 

" The Maypole ? How lovely ! " Betty exclaimed. " Where 
is it ? " 

" Quite close. In the Strand. You know the church called 
St. Mary-le-Strand ? It is the first of the two churches that 
stand in the middle of the road as you go up the Strand from 
Charing Cross. Well, just in front of that church, we shall find 
the Maypole. You can hear the shouts of the people now." 

In a minute or two they were in the Strand, and there, in the 
middle of the road, with long coloured streamers hanging from 
its summit, stood an enormously tall pole wreathed with flowers, 
round which with laughter and shouting, men and girls were 
dancing. Some of the boys had garters with bells round their 
knee-breeches, and nearly all of them were waving handkerchiefs. 
The whole street was crowded with noisy, merry-making people, 
and one boy in particular, standing on a high wooden stool close 
to the Maypole, seemed to be directing the dance. 

" He is the May-Lord, and he arranges the fun," Godmother 
said. " Listen to what he is reciting." 



THE RESTORATION 121 

" Up then, I say, both young and old, 
Both man and maid a-Maying, 
With drums and guns that bounce along 
And merry tabor playing ! 
Which to prolong. God save our King, 
And send his country peace, 
And root out treason from the land ! 
And so, my friends, I cease." 

" London is very gay," Betty remarked as they walked 
down the Strand towards Whitehall, passing groups of merry- 
makers on the way. " But it looks just the same as it did in 
Elizabeth's day," she added, glancing from the line of stately 
mansions on the left, with wide stretches of the river visible 
between them, to the fields and gardens on the right of the Strand. 
" The people wear different sort of clothes now, but the town 
hasn't altered much, has it ? " 

" No. We are in the early years of Charles the Second's 
reign as yet, and London is as full of gaiety as a few years ago 
it was dull and gloomy, when the Puritan party was powerful, 
Cromwell ruled, and all amusements were forbidden. Now the 
theatres have been reopened, and all the old sports and pastimes 
of the people have been revived." 

" Then there will be acting going on again in those funny 
theatres we saw in Southward ? " 

" Yes, but these are already falling out of fashion, and will 
disappear, because finer play-houses are being built on this side 
of the river. Drury Lane Theatre is one of them." 

" I went there to a pantomime last Christmas," Betty 
remarked. " But of course it's quite a different building now, 
in our time, isn't it ? " 

" There have been three Drury Lane theatres since the one in 
which Nell Gwynne plays now. You went to the fourth building 
on the same spot. . . . Now we're at the end of the Strand and 
I'm just going to let you have a glimpse of Whitehall Palace 
which last time we saw only from the water. Look at that 
beautiful monument in the middle of the road, just where in our 
time, stands the statue of Charles the First on horseback. That's 
the last of the thirteen crosses put up by Edward the First to 



122 MAGIC LONDON 

mark the place where his wife's body rested when it was 
brought from Nottinghamshire to be buried in Westminster 
Abbey." 

" It's in Charing Cross Station yard now, isn't it ? " Betty 
asked. 

" Not that one. The monument outside the station in our 
day, is only a copy of the cross you are looking at. I needn't 
tell you that when it was first set up, long, long ago in Edward 
the First's time, this place was all country with a tiny hamlet 
called Cherringe surrounded by fields and woods, where we are 
standing. . . . 

" Now look down the road, remembering that if we were in 
our own day we should have our backs to Trafalgar Square and 
our faces towards Westminster. On our left we should see, first 
shops and houses, and then big buildings all the way down to 
the Houses of Parliament. On our right, there would be the 
Horse Guards and a line of Government Offices with St. James's 
Park behind them." 

But on what a different scene Betty looked ! The whole of 
the space stretching between the river (which she could see gleam- 
ing on her left) and St. James's Park in full view on her right, 
was covered with houses, separated from one another by gardens 
and lawns, but all belonging to, and part of, the Palace of White- 
hall. Right through the midst of this great plot of buildings, 
ran a public road, over-arched by two fine gateways at some long 
distance apart. 

" You remember I told you that Henry the Eighth was the 
first king to live in this palace ? " said Godmother. " He moved 
here, you remember, from the old Palace of Westminster when 
Cardinal Wolsey, to whom it originally belonged, fell into dis- 
grace, and had to give it up to him. Henry invited the German 
painter Holbein, to live at Whitehall, and began a famous collec- 
tion of pictures here. It was Henry the Eighth also who built 
many of the houses you see now. They are all part of the Palace. 
You know that this was one of Queen Elizabeth's many homes, 
because you saw her land from the river over there on the left. 
Now look in the opposite direction. Do you see that great open 
space on the right ? It is called the Tilt Yard, and you have 



THE RESTORATION 123 

walked through it many times as it is now in our own day, I 
mean." 

" Have I ? What is it now ? " Betty asked. 

She was puzzled, for the whole place looked so different from 
the Whitehall she knew. 

" The Horse Guards Parade. The great open space at the 
end of St. James's Park, you know. It was there that Queen 
Elizabeth with her Maids of Honour sat to watch one of the 
masques she liked so much. It was a sort of masque and tourna- 
ment combined. The gallery in which she was seated, was called 
The Fortresse of Perfect Beauty, and a company of splendidly- 
dressed knights stormed it by shooting sweetly-scented powder 
and perfumes at it. Then another company of knights calling 
themselves ' The Defenders of Beauty ' met the enemy in a mock 
fight, and defeated them." 

" That was when she was young and beautiful, I suppose ? " 
Betty said. " She was quite old when we saw her." 

" Yes. She was young at the time of that particular masque, 
but she kept her love for acting and for dancing almost to the 
day of her death." 

" Did she die here ? " 

" She died at her palace at Richmond, but her body was 
borne on a funeral barge down the river there, and here in White- 
hall it lay in state till she was buried in the Abbey yonder. Then 
came James the First, and not content with this great palace, 
he planned to build a new one ! Do you remember I told you 
of an artist called Inigo Jones who designed beautiful scenery for 
the masques in this reign ? Well, he was also an architect, and 
he made a plan for a wonderful new palace, and actually began 
to build it. There is the little bit he finished." Godmother 
pointed to a stately house on the left. 

" Why, I remember that ! It's in Whitehall now. Oppo- 
site the Horse Guards." 

" It is, and it's all that's left of Whitehall Palace in our own 
day. The dream of a new palace remained a dream, for that's 
all of it that was ever built, and was only a tiny part of what 
Inigo Jones meant to do. But it remains to our day, and I never 
pass it without thinking of the tragedy that happened there." 



124 MAGIC LONDON 

" What tragedy ? " 

" Don't you remember that it was there on a scaffold put up 
outside that second window at this end, that James's son, Charles 
the First, was executed ? " 

"I'd forgotten," Betty said, looking with interest at the 
window Godmother pointed out. " James little thought he was 
having the very place built where his poor son was to die, did 
he ? " she added after a moment. " Then did Oliver Cromwell 
come to live at Whitehall ? " she asked presently. 

" Yes, and he took all the royal apartments for himself and 
lived in state with the poet Milton as his secretary. Here he 
died, only two or three years ago, and now the Palace is filled to 
overflowing with the great Court of the present King. Let us 
walk across to the river front." 

They passed through many gardens and courts surrounded by 
houses built in the Elizabethan fashion, with gabled roofs, and 
timbered fronts, till they came to a long stone building facing 
the river, but divided from it by a pretty garden. 

" This is called the Stone Gallery," said Godmother, " and here 
two of the beauties of the Court have their apartments. One is 
Lady Castlemaine, and the other the Duchess of Portsmouth." 

" What a lovely place to live in ! " Betty exclaimed. " Over- 
looking this garden and the beautiful river." 

" It has its disadvantages," Godmother remarked drily. 
" Sometimes the river floods the lower rooms at high tide. Only 
yesterday, for instance, when Lady Castlemaine had invited the 
King to dine with her, the cook came to tell her that the water 
had put the fire out in the kitchen." 

Betty laughed. " What did she do ? " 

" Pepys wrote it all down in his diary this morning, so we 
know. He tells us that Lady Castlemaine exclaimed, ' Zounds ! ' 
(a favourite word in these Restoration days), 'you may burn 
the palace, down but the beef must be roasted!' 'So,' the 
' Diary ' goes on, ' it was carried to Mrs. Sarah's husband, and 
there roasted,' ' Mrs. Sarah ' being the housekeeper to one of 
Mr. Pepys 's friends. 

" Those are the Queen's rooms," Godmother went on, point- 
ing to a row of windows some distance from the Stone Gallery, 




CHARLES I. 



THE RESTORATION 127 

but like it, facing the river. " Poor Catherine ! she is very much 
neglected, and these Court ladies' apartments are much grander 
and better furnished than hers." 

" Queen Catherine ? " echoed Betty. 

" Catherine of Braganza. She is a Portuguese lady whom 
King Charles has lately married." 

" Shall we see the King ? " Betty asked. 

" We may have a glimpse of him in a moment. He is far 
from being a good king, you know, though he is good-natured 
and witty, and easy to get on with. He hates to be troubled 
with business, and doesn't care about the honour or welfare of 
his country so long as he has plenty of money, and can spend his 
time in amusement. He lives here in the greatest luxury, sur- 
rounded by frivolous courtiers. One of them wrote some amus- 
ing lines about him the other day which he had the audacity to 
fasten up on the door of the King's bedroom : 

' Here lies our sovereign lord, the King 
Whose word no man relies on. 
He never said a foolish thing 
And never did a wise one.' 

And that very well describes Charles the Second. Now pay 
great attention to the Banqueting Hall, not long ago built by 
Inigo Jones, because it's the only bit of all this scene that you 
will be able to look at when we are in our own day once more. 
There, wonderful banquets are held on a magnificent scale, when 
the King entertains ambassadors from foreign courts. And now 
let us stroll into St. James's Park. The King has recently laid 
it out as part of the grounds of his palace, though the public is 
allowed to enter it." 

"It's quite different now," said Betty, gazing at a long 
straight canal which instead of the well-known winding lake, ran 
from end to end of the Park. " Look at those stiff avenues of 
trees on each side of the water ! It isn't a bit like an English 
park." 

" No. That's because while he was in exile, Charles lived in 
Holland, and became very fond of the Dutch style of formal 



128 



MAGIC LONDON 



gardening, which he has copied here. But I'll show you some- 
thing that will be familiar to you. Do you see that little island 
with the ducks and wild-fowl swimming near it. The water 
birds that live in St. James's Park now, and had such a beautiful 
home before the Park was made ugly with sheds during 
the war, are the descendants of those very birds belonging to 




Charles the Second. He often comes here quite unattended to 
feed them." 

" Godmother, I do believe he's there now ! " Betty exclaimed, 
pointing to a dark, heavy-faced man with a long curling wig, 
throwing bread to the ducks, as with loud quacks they came 
swimming towards him. "He's dressed like the pictures I've 
seen of Charles the Second anyhow." 

" Yes, that's the King. And the man beside him, with the 



THE RESTORATION 



129 



splendid satin coat and the wide hat with the curling red feather, 
is the Duke of Rochester, one of his favourites. See how they're 
laughing together ! " 

One moment Betty saw them thus. Then, the whole scene 
vanished, and instead of standing in the sunlight in the Park 
under the trees, she found herself in a gorgeous ball-room, lighted 
by hundreds of wax candles in sconces against the gilded walls. 




It was filled with men and women beautifully dressed in the 
costume of Stuart days, which Betty recognized from portraits 
she had seen of people belonging to Restoration times. The 
men carried in their hands big felt hats with sweeping feathers, 
and they all wore wigs with long curls to the shoulders, while 
the ladies were gay in rich brocades, and sparkled with jewels. 
A buzz of talk and laughter almost drowned the music played in 
a gallery above. 

" They are waiting for the King and Queen to come in and 

i 



130 MAGIC LONDON 

open the ball," Godmother said. " Do you see Mr. Pepys in 
that corner under the musicians' gallery ? He is talking to his 
friend Mr. Povey, a member of Parliament, who has brought him 
here to-night to see this particular ball." 

Presently the doors at one end of the room were flung open 
and the King, leading the Queen by the hand, entered, followed 
by his brother, the Duke of York, who led the Duchess. 

Then the dancing began. At first it was a stately dance 
called the Br anile, in which the couples followed one another 
round the room, keeping step to the music. 

" That's the Duke of Monmouth bowing low to Lady Castle- 
maine," Godmother said, seeing that Betty was watching a very 
handsome young man whose partner was a pretty lady in a 
wonderful gown of blue and silver. " You will read about his 
tragic end in your history. But now he is young and gay and in 
high favour with the King." 

" Look ! the King and a lady are dancing alone ! " cried 
Betty. " Doesn't he dance well ? " 

" That dance is called a Coranto. You see that every one in 
the room stands up when the King dances. There ! He is 
calling to the musicians for a merrier tune, and now we shall 
see a country dance, very different from these stately 
measures." 

In a moment or two indeed the whole gay throng was jigging 
to a lively air such as Betty had heard the fiddler play for the 
milkmaids in Drury Lane. 

"It's a Morris dance," she exclaimed. " We learn it at 
school." 

" Yes, there's a fashion in our day to bring back the old- 
fashioned country dances that were common in England two or 
three hundred years ago. See how the King is enjoying it," she 
added. " You can understand why, in spite of his failings as a 
ruler, he is so popular with his subjects. They love his free and 
easy ways, and his lazy good-nature." 

" I suppose Mr. Pepys will write about this ball ? " Betty 
suggested. 

" Oh yes. The ' Diary ' says, ' Mr. Povey and I to Whitehall : 
he taking me thither on purpose to carry me into the ball this 



THE RESTORATION 133 

night before the King,' and a few lines further on we read, 
' Then to country dances ; the King leading the first, which he 
called for.' ' 

" And we've actually seen him do it ! " Betty exclaimed. 

But almost before she finished speaking, a thick mist swallowed 
up the ballroom with its sparkling lights and its whirling men 
and women. . . . The sun was shining, and they were once more 
in the open air. 

" We are in the Chepe now," Betty said, recognizing it 
immediately, for it had scarcely changed at all since the reign of 
Elizabeth. 

It was decorated now in honour of May Day. Scarlet hang- 
ings draped the front of the houses not only of the market-place 
itself, but of those in the narrow streets leading from it. Wood 
Street, a dirty dark lane overhung by its picturesque wooden 
dwellings, was especially gay, Betty noticed. It was full of life 
and bustle. At every doorway people stood talking and laugh- 
ing, and where the top stories almost met overhead, she noticed 
children leaning from the windows to exchange handfuls of 
flowers with little opposite neighbours who could reach them 
easily. 

" Now," said Godmother, " that we have seen London gay 
and merry on this May Day in the early part of Charles 
the Second's reign, I'm afraid you must have just a glimpse 
of the city a few years later in terrible trouble. Shut your 
eyes." 

Betty obeyed, and when after a moment Godmother said, 
" Open them," she looked round her in horror. They were 
standing on the same spot in the Chepe, for there was the entrance 
to Wood Street, just opposite. But what was this terrible 
change ? The Chepe was silent and deserted. Grass was grow- 
ing between the cobblestones with which it was paved, and the 
only creature in sight, was a man walking beside a covered cart 
ringing a bell. What was he repeating in that hoarse voice of 
his ? She listened and with a shudder heard the words, " Bring 
out your dead / Bring out your dead ! " 

" We will walk a few steps down Wood Street," Godmother 
said. 



134 



MAGIC LONDON 



Betty followed her along the narrow lane. The doors of the 
houses were all closed. No groups of gossiping people stood 
there now, and there were no laughing children high above, 
throwing flowers to one another. On almost every other door 




Betty saw a red cross drawn in chalk, and beneath it was scrawled 
God have mercie upon us. The air was full of the sound of tolling 
bells. 

" Oh ! how dreadful ! " she cried. But the words were 
uttered in Godmother's parlour, and she was thankful to be 
whisked so suddenly into her own day. 



THE RESTORATION 135 

" The Plague was in London then, I suppose ? " she 
asked. 

" Yes. A moment ago, we were in the year 1665, and the 
Chepe, and Wood Street, showed you the terrible state of things 
that existed then all over the city. Nearly all the richer people 
had left London by the time we had that glimpse of only one of 
the streets in which the disease raged. The Court had moved 
from Whitehall ; most of the clergy had run away. So had many 
of the doctors. The people died by thousands, and still in those 
narrow dirty streets the plague spread. Trade was at a stand- 
still, and multitudes were starving, and only kept alive by money 
sent for their relief to the Lord Mayor and the Archbishop and 
two or three noblemen who bravely refused to desert the 
city." 

" Did Mr. Pepys go away ? " Betty asked with interest. 

" No. His work kept him in London nearly all the time, 
and of course he tells us much about this awful year. Let us 
look at his ' Diary.' " 

She opened the book which had been responsible for the 
magic scenes Betty had already beheld, and began to turn 
the leaves. 

" Here," she said, " on June 7th, 1665, long before the terrible 
disease had reached its height, Mr. Pepys wrote, ' The hottest 
day that ever I felt in my life. This day, much against my will, 
I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red 
cross upon the doors, and Lord have mercy upon us writ there.' 
But though Pepys owns that he is often afraid, he keeps quite 
calm, and does not forget to mention when he puts on new 
clothes. (He is very vain, you know, and fond of dress.) 

" On September 3rd, when the plague was at its height, this 
is what appears in his ' Diary ' : ' Up ; and put on my coloured silk 
suit very fine.' He goes on to say how he dares not put on his 
new ' periwigg ' (that is the sort of long curling wig we saw him 
wearing just now) because he thinks it might hold the infection. 
Still Mr. Pepys was no coward during this terrible time, and 
seems to have done what he could to help the poor. Well, we 
will not linger over the misery of London during that awful year 
of 1665. A hundred thousand Londoners died of it, and even 



136 MAGIC LONDON 

before it was quite over, another terrible misfortune fell upon the 
poor city, of which you shall just have a second's glimpse. Hold 
this book. Shut your eyes, and think yourself on Bankside in 
Southwark, near St. Savio'ur's Church/' 

Betty had no sooner done this, than even before she opened 
her eyes she was conscious of a fierce glare. Then just for a 
flashing second she saw on the opposite side of the river, London 
burning. From the Tower on the right hand, across the river, 
to St. Paul's far down on the left, the city was a sheet of flame, 
and the night sky overhead was deep crimson with the reflected 
glare ! 

Before she had time to feel frightened she was in the quiet 
parlour where Godmother still sat, turning over the leaves of the 
" Diary." 

" How wonderful, but awful it looked, Godmother ! I couldn't 
have borne to see it a second longer. What does it say about it 
in Mr. Pepys's book ? " 

" He describes the Fire very fully. He tells how at three 
o'clock on Sunday morning, Jane, the maid, called him up, say- 
ing there was a big blaze near them. But it is some hours 
later before he understands that this is something more than an 
ordinary fire. Then he goes to the Tower, and from one of the 
roofs there, sees all the wharves and quays and the houses in 
Thames Street (Chaucer's street, you remember,) in a blaze. 
The houses on London Bridge were beginning to burn also. He 
tells of the scenes on the river where the people were rushing 
from their blazing houses on the bank and crowding into boats 
carrying all they could snatch up in their flight, ' poor people 
staying in their nouses as long as till the very fire touched them,' he 
writes, ' and then running into boats, or clambering from one 
pair of stairs by the waterside to another. And among other things, 
the poor pigeons, I perceived were loth to leave their houses, but 
hovered about the windows and balcony s till they burned their wings 
and fell down.' ' 

" We went down one of those very stairs on to the quay 
when we saw the sailor man telling the boys of his travels in 
Queen Elizabeth's days," interrupted Betty. " And I remem- 
ber the pigeons were flying about then ! Do go on, Godmother." 



THE RESTORATION 137 

" Well, then Pepys goes on to say he takes a boat and rows 
down the river to Whitehall and informs the King and the Duke 
of York (afterwards, you know, James the Second) that this fire 
is very serious. So the King orders him to tell the Lord Mayor 
to have houses pulled down as fast as he can, to stop the flames, 
if possible, by making big gaps in the streets. For the wooden 
houses were burning furiously, as you saw just now, and the fire 
leapt from one to another. Soldiers were sent to help in this 
work, but all in vain, for fiery flakes were carried by the wind 
and fell on other roofs which began to blaze. Then he describes 
the streets blocked with carts in which furniture and treasures 
were stacked, and thronged also with escaping people, crying 
and lamenting. In Cannon Street he meets the distracted Lord 
Mayor who exclaims, ' Lord ! what can 1 do ? . . . / have been 
pulling down houses, but the fire overtakes us faster than we can 
do it.' 

" The same night, Pepys and his wife and some friends took 
a boat at Whitehall steps and rowed downstream towards the 
Tower, meeting hundreds of boats loaded with people escaping 
with their treasures, and seeing furniture and household goods 
floating about in the water. As they drew nearer to London 
Bridge, the heat from streets of flaming buildings was so great 
that they were obliged to land on Bankside opposite. There, 
from a little inn, they watched London burning, as you saw it 
just now. When he reached home he wrote in his ' Diary ' that 
as it grew darker, the fire appeared more and more 'and in 
corners, and upon steeples, and between churches and houses, as 
far as we could see up the hill of the City in a most horrid mali- 
cious bloody flame, not like the fine flame of an ordinary flre.' 
At last it seemed ' as only one entire arch of fire from this to 
the other side of the bridge, and in a bow up the hill for an arch 
of above a mile long : it made me weep to see it. The churches, 
houses, and all on fire and flaming at once ; and a horrid 
noise the flames made, and the cracking of houses at their 
ruine.' ' 

" That was as I saw it ! " cried Betty. " Was his house 
burnt ? Because Seething Lane isn't far from London 
Bridge." 



138 MAGIC LONDON 

" No. It was in great danger, but it escaped. For two or 
three days after that Sunday, Pepys worked hard removing his 
treasures to a friend's house at a distance, and burying his wine 
and important papers belonging to the Admiralty in a hole he 
dug in his garden. All that time London burnt, and the wildest 
scenes of confusion went on all round him, as the flames, helped 
by a strong wind, spread farther and farther. For nearly a week 
it raged, and when at last it was stopped in Smithfield " 

" At Pie Corner," interrupted Betty. 

Godmother smiled. " No child will ever forget that the fire 
began in Pudding Lane and ended at Pie Corner ! " she remarked. 
" Well, when at last it was stopped, nearly the whole of London 
as it then existed, was in ruins, and two hundred thousand people 
were homeless." 

" Whatever became of them, poor things ? " 

" Thousands of them camped out in tents and huts, on what 
were then real fields in Moorfields, outside Moorgate (then a real 
gate in the City wall). But before we learn what became of 
them later, let us flash back for a moment or two and look at 
the city in ruins. It will be a sad sight, but we shall understand 
London better if we see it." 

The magic rite with the ' Diary ' was once more performed, and 
in a flash they found themselves standing near one of the wharves 
close to London Bridge, on to which Mr. Samuel Pepys was just 
stepping from a boat. He was richly and trimly dressed as 
usual (having got over the fright of the Fire), and his face was 
full of importance and curiosity. 

" He is going to look at the ruins," Godmother said. " Let 
us follow him." 

Their unconscious guide led them over mounds of hot ashes 
into Cheapside. 

" Oh, Godmother, the beautiful Chepe ! All in ruins ! " cried 
Betty. A moment later she saw what had been the Exchange, 
and was now nothing but a blackened skeleton. Mr. Pepys was 
standing before its remains, looking from the heaps of broken 
statues on the ground to one still standing, upon which he 
gazed in astonishment. 

"It's the statue of its founder, Sir Thomas Gresham the 



THE RESTORATION 139 

only one on the building not burnt, strangely enough," God- 
mother said. 

" Oh ! that's St. Paul's ; with the roof all fallen in. Scarcely 
any of it left," Betty exclaimed sorrowfully. 

" A miserable sight, my Lord ! " she heard Mr. Pepys remark 
with a low bow to a gentleman who stood near him among the 
crowd of dejected sightseers. 

" The old Grey Friars' church is gone, you notice," Godmother 
said. " This, you remember, was Christ's Hospital the Blue 
Coat School, now all in ruins. Acres of streets and houses are 
destroyed, with more than eighty churches and an enormous 
number of schools and hospitals and public buildings of all sorts. 
In fact, old London, as you see, has practically vanished." 

"It's too sad," sighed Betty, looking round her at the ruin 
and desolation. " I don't want to see any more. Look at those 
people crying. I suppose that heap of rubbish was their home ? 
. . . Do let us go back to our own time, Godmother ! " 

In another flash they were there, and Betty, as usual when 
she returned so mysteriously to everyday life, rubbed her 
eyes. 

" Poor London ! " she sighed. " First the Plague, and then 
that awful Fire. I should think it was the worst fire that ever 
happened to a city, wasn't it ? " 

" One of the worst, certainly. But out of the evil came one 
good at least. London has never since been visited by that 
dreadful Plague which before the Fire was always hovering in 
its narrow lanes ready to break out violently at intervals. In 
sweeping away the picturesque buildings, many of which had 
been standing for hundreds of years, it also swept the city free 
of the poisonous germs in it, which had never before died out. 
The new houses were healthier, many of the streets were made 
broader. There was air and light where formerly there had 
been stuffy darkness. And light and air are the good spirits 
that drive away the demons of disease." 

" But how did London ever get built again ? I can't think 
how ever the people found homes once more ? " 

" There was terrible suffering, of course, but they were 
brave and energetic. They did not sit down and cry for long, 



140 MAGIC LONDON 

but helped by money from the rich, they began to build their 
city again. The part by the riverside that was needed for 
shipping and trade of all kinds, rose first out of the ashes, and 
then by degrees new churches and mansions, and public buildings 
arose on the ruins of the old. You must remember one man in 
particular who lived at this time, because it was he who designed 
most of the new churches and a great many of the public build- 
ings. His name was Sir Christopher Wren." 

" Oh ! it was Sir Christopher Wren who built the new St. 
Paul's, wasn't it ? " 

" Yes, and many of the other London churches we see every 
day. After the Great Fire, when most of the city was in ruins, 
it was at first proposed to re-build it in an altogether different 
way, and Sir Christopher Wren was asked to prepare a plan 
for New London. If it had been built according to his drawing, 
we should see a very different London now. It would be a 
regular city, with broad streets all more or less similar, running 
parallel to one another; rather like modern Paris or New 
York." 

" But it isn't a bit like that, is it ? There are lots of little 
curly streets and narrow lanes in the city in our own time," said 
Betty. 

" That's because the people couldn't wait to build till all 
these new arrangements were settled. They began putting up 
their new houses in the same places, following the lines of the 
old streets." 

"I'm so glad they did," Betty remarked. " Because at 
least you can tell now exactly where the old places stood. It 
wouldn't have been interesting to have a perfectly different 
city." 

" Well, it has stopped raining now," said Godmother as a 
gleam of sunshine lighted her pretty parlour. " Shall we go 
to Whitehall and look at the only part of the Palace that is 
left ? " 

" Oh yes. I want to hear what happened to it after Charles 
the Second's time. It wasn't burnt, of course, because the Great 
Fire didn't reach so far as Whitehall." 

" Not in the Great Fire certainly, but it was burnt down only 



THE RESTORATION 141 

about thirty years later, in the reign of William and Mary. 
Afterwards St. James's Palace, which you know well by sight, 
was the London home of royalty till Buckingham Palace took its 
place." 

In less than half an hour, they were driving from Westminster 
up Whitehall, and the car stopped before that building opposite 
the Horse Guards which is now called the United Service 
Museum. 

" The famous Banqueting Hall has been turned into a 
museum, you see, where all sorts of interesting relics connected 
with the Army and Navy are preserved. Well go in and look 
at it," said Godmother. 

They went upstairs into the lofty hall, and Betty gazed up 
at the painted ceiling high above her head and at the flags hanging 
in a line just below it. 

" The ceiling is the work of Rubens, a famous Dutch painter, 
and the old flags hanging up there once belonged either to famous 
ships or famous regiments. Now come and look at this model 
of Whitehall Palace as you saw it half an hour ago." 

Betty followed her eagerly to a glass case near the door. 

" Oh, it's a splendid model of it ! " she exclaimed. " Here's 
the part that went along by the river, where the Queen lived, 
and some of the beautiful ladies of the Court as well. And 
there are all the gabled houses round the big garden in the 
middle." 

" And that's the building we're standing in at the present 
moment," Godmother added, pointing out the Banqueting 
Hall in the model. " The beginning of what the architect 
intended as a great new palace, and the only part of it either 
built or remaining now." 

" That's where the Tilt Yard was," Betty exclaimed, when 
having examined the model, she went to one of the big windows 
of the Hall and looked across at the Horse Guards, with the 
scarlet-coated soldiers on their horses standing on either side 
of the gateway. " And just under this window poor King 
Charles was beheaded." 

There were numberless interesting things besides the model 
to be seen in the Hall, but Betty's mind was full of Restoration 



142 MAGIC LONDON 

days, and when Godmother proposed that they should drive to 
the place where the Great Fire ended, she readily agreed. 

" You know where it began, because you've been up the 
Monument at London Bridge, and that commemorates the place 
of its outbreak. We must go to Smithfield to find the spot where 
it was checked." 

" Close to the Charterhouse, then ? " murmured Betty. 

" There ! " Godmother said presently, when they reached 
Smithfield from a turning out of Holborn. " The figure of that 
fat boy on the corner house of Cock Lane, then called Pye 
Corner, marks the place where the flames were at last quenched 
by pulling down houses to make an open space." 

" I wonder what the fat boy has to do with the Great Fire ? " 
Betty said. 

Godmother laughed. " There used to be an inscription under 
the figure to say that the Fire was caused by ' the sin of gluttony.' 
But that was probably only because ' Pudding Lane ' and ' Pie 
Corner ' suggested eating too much of either or both ! " she 
explained. 

" Is there anything in the London Museum about the time 
of Charles the Second ? " Betty asked on the homeward drive. 

" Yes. You'd better go there before next Saturday. You'll 
find plenty to interest you, and to remind you of the terrible 
as well as of the charming things you've lately seen. Look for 
the placards that were posted up in the streets at the time of 
the Great Plague. One is headed ' Lord have mercy upon us ' 
and gives some curious directions about the sort of medicine 
people should take to prevent infection. Then just above these 
old placards, you will see one of the very hand-bells that were 
tolled in the streets when men went round with the carts crying, 
' Bring out your dead.' Go downstairs into the basement if you 
want to see a splendid model of London burning." 

" Burning ? " echoed Betty in surprise. 

" Yes, and very cleverly managed too, as you'll discover. 
Look at all the other models while you're in the basement part of 
the Museum. There's one of old St. Paul's as it appeared before 
the Fire, and as you saw it for the last time in the early years of 
Charles the Second's reign." 



THE RESTORATION 143 

" London will be almost a new city the next time we see it," 
remarked Betty. " I wonder whether I shall like it so well as 
the old one ? " 

" It will be different, certainly. And now, my dear, it's 
getting so late that I'm going to drive you straight home." 



The Eighteenth Century 

THE LONDON OF THE GEORGES AND OF 
DR. JOHNSON 

" t~ | AO-DAY we're going to see London as it was after the 
Fire ! " exclaimed Betty, when she had recovered as 

JL usual from her first astonishment and delight at 
" remembering everything " the moment she saw Godmother. 
" How are we going to get back this time ? " 

" Well, there's a good deal we can see without ' going back ' 
at all," Godmother replied. " Because all that surrounds us 
every day is London after the Fire. Many buildings exist now, 
just as they were put up when the city began to rise from its 
ashes in the latter part of Charles the Second's reign." 

" Isn't there to be any ' magic ' at all to-day, then ? " Betty's 
voice was full of disappointment. 

" Not just yet, at any rate. We are not going back quite 
so far into the Past this time. Only, in fact, about a 
hundred and fifty years to the middle of the eighteenth 
century." 

" But London must have changed even in that time ? " 

" It has enormously. Yet at the same time much remains 
the same, and I propose to show you first what is left 
in our own day of the end of the seventeenth and the whole 
of the eighteenth centuries. It will only be necessary to employ 
magic in the case of certain places that have altogether vanished 
from the London of our own time. But before we go any further 

145 K 



146 MAGIC LONDON 

with or without magic, we must have our usual little history 
examination. So sit down and collect your thoughts." 

Betty obeyed with a good grace, for she knew she would 
find all she was about to see, ten times more interesting for 
not being " in a muddle " about her history. 

" When we left London last time," Godmother began, 
" Charles the Second was reigning. Who was the next king ? " 

" James the Second, his brother," Betty said, after a moment's 
thought. 

" And then ? " 

" William and Mary." 

" Why didn't the son of James the Second come to the 
throne ? " 

" Because there was a revolution, and the people chose James 
the Second's son-in-law to be king, and he was William of Orange, 
who was married to James's daughter, Mary." 

" Very good ! " exclaimed Godmother approvingly. " Queen 
Anne, you remember, Mary's sister, was the next sovereign. 
And after her ? " 

" Let me see. She had no children, so a relation of hers, 
a German man, was chosen. He was George the First. Then 
came George the Second, and then " 

" That will do," Godmother interrupted. " The reign of 
George the Second brings us to the London we're going to see 
to-day, partly, but not altogether by magic. Some of it at least 
we can see in the course of a walk or drive, for it still exists. 
Now we'll have the car and go as usual to London Bridge for a 
general view of the city that has risen up since the Fire and has 
been growing bigger and bigger for two hundred and fifty 
years." 

Half an hour later they were passing the Monument at the 
entrance to the Bridge, and this time Betty looked up at it with 
greater interest than ever. 

" That marks the place where the Fire began," she mur- 
mured. " How soon afterwards was it built, Godmother ? " 

" About eight years afterwards. Sir Christopher Wren 
designed it. He, as I hope you remember, was the great archi- 
tect who practically rebuilt London. At least so far as great 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 147 

public buildings are concerned. We'll get out now, and walk 
to the middle of the bridge." 

" The last time I saw it ' magically ' the funny pretty houses 
on it were burning ! " Betty said. " I do wish this was the very 
same bridge," she added with a sigh. 

" Well, at least it's almost, though not quite in the same p'ace 
as the one you stood on with Chaucer, and that's something, 
isn't it ? But now look right and left, and remembering the 
London you saw burning, tell me what changes you notice in the 
kird of buildings you see now. There's the new St. Paul's, for 
instance, and you remember the old one ? " 

" It's quite a different sort of church now," Betty said. 
" Old St. Paul's had a spire and pointed roofs and arches instead 
of that big dome with the ball and cross on the top. All the 
churches now are different," she went on, looking from one 
white steeple to another rising above the houses. 

" Yes. You see, don't you ? that the architecture of Lon- 
don, that is, the way a building is made has changed com- 
pletely. Before the Fire, the churches and most of the other 
important buildings, were in a style we call Gothic. They had 
pointed arches, like Westminster Abbey, and if you keep the 
appearance of the Abbey in mind, you will have a good idea 
of what Gothic architecture means. See how very different is 
this new St. Paul's ! It has a dome. In front of it runs a line 
of pillars supporting a sort of stone triangle. Look at the 
gallery of columns upon which the dome rests. It is all as 
different as it can be, from the architecture of the Abbey. Now 
for the sort of architecture of which the new St. Paul's is an 
example, the architects took the ancient Greek temples for their 
models. Nearly all the architects who lived later than Eliza- 
beth's time, built in this way, and Christopher Wren and Inigo 
Jones (who designed the Whitehall Banqueting House, you 
remember) were two of the men of the seventeenth century 
who planned their buildings on Grecian models Now as Wren 
designed most of the important buildings, we may expect to find 
London architecture after theF re, fcr the most part in this new 
style. It is called the classical style, and the new St. Paul's is a 
good example of it." 



148 MAGIC LONDON 

" But all the crowded houses and quays and bridges that 
we see now weren't here till much later even, than George the 
Second's time, were they ? " 

" Indeed no, though of course London had grown bigger in 
the eighteenth century than it was even after the time of the 
Fire. When we make use of the ' magic ' presently we'll just 
take a glimpse of the City from London Bridge in the eighteenth 
century. I've only brought you here now to get a general view 
of the new sort of churches." 

" Where are we going now ? " Betty asked as they re-entered 
the car. 

"I'm going to take you to see one at least of the four Inns 
of Court." 

" Inns of Court ? What are they ? " 

" Well, they were founded to be colleges for the study of 
law, and lawyers still live in them and dine in their halls, and 
law students have to pass examinations set by the men who 
govern the Inns. They are all rather close together, round 
about Fleet Street, which as you know is a continuation of the 
Strand." 

" This is Fleet Street, isn't it ? " Betty said. ' Yes ! 
There's the monument with the Griffin on it in the middle of 
the road, outside the Law Courts." 

" And here is the entrance to the Middle Temple, quite close 
to that monument," Godmother replied, stopping the car. 
" The Middle Temple is the name of one of the Inns. The others 
are the Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn. They are 
all interesting and beautiful, but we shall only have time to 
look at the two ' Temples ' Middle and Inner which are side 
by side." 

" Oh ! what a nice entrance ! " Betty said as they passed 
under an old brick gate and house. 

" Yes. That was designed by Christopher Wren just after 
the Fire." 

" Why is this place called the Temple ? " Betty asked, and 
almost in the same breath, " Oh, Godmother, how pretty it is ! 
Isn't it wonderful to turn out of the noisy street into this quiet 
place ? " 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 149 

" That's one of the surprises of London town," Godmother 
said. "It's full of charming leafy places like this if you know 
where to look for them." 

Betty was gazing at the straight-fronted houses enclosing 




numberless quiet courts, houses whose bricks were now dark 
red with age, and from them she looked past a row of big, beauti- 
ful trees to where green lawns sloped down to the Embankment 
with the shining river beyond. She saw that the courts and 
corridors and gardens, covered a great space between Fleet 
Street on one hand and the river on the other. 



150 MAGIC LONDON 

" Let us sit down here under the trees in King's Bench Walk," 
Godmother said, " and I'll tell you a little about this place. 
You asked me just now why it was called the Temple. Did you 
notice the church we've just passed a curious row d-shaped 
church ? Well, that was built more than seven hundred years 
ago, when Henry the Second was king, and knights from every 
civilized country were going to Palestine to fight in the Crusades. 
Some of these knights formed themselves into a society called 
the Templars, because they had sworn to defend the Temple 
of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. Well, when the English 
knights belonging to this great Society, or Order as it was called, 
came home, they built that church and made it round in shape, 
in imitation of the Round Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 
Jerusalem. Once upon a time these Knights Templars owned 
all this ground upon which the lawns and houses before us now 
stand." 

" But I thought you said this was a place for lawyers ? " 
Betty began. 

" So I did, and so it is now, and so it has been ever since 
the reign of Edward the Third. By that time, the Knights 
Templars were no longer the good sincere men who had formed 
the Society a hundred years or so before. They had become 
rich and proud and greedy of power, and the society was at last 
brought to an end. The property belonging to it went to the 
King, and in Edward the Third's reign, was given to certain 
lawyers, and has ever since belonged to the profession of the 
law. But it keeps its old name of the Temple, and so recalls 
the time when it belonged to the great religious society of the 
Knights Templars." 

" But none of their houses or buildings are left here now ? " 
Betty said. 

" Nothing except the round church which they built seven 
hundred years ago." 

" And even the houses here now, aren't so old as the time 
when the Temple first came to the lawyers, are they ? They 
are quite different from the houses of Dick Whittington's time, 
or even Elizabeth's reign, for instance." 

" Yes. That's because all these small houses were built 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 151 

after the Fire, which destroyed most of the Temple. Fortunately 
it didn't burn the church (the oldest part of it all), nor Middle 
Temple Hall, which was built in Elizabeth's reign. We'll go and 
look at that Hall now, because besides being beautiful, it's full 
of interesting memories." 

They crossed various quiet courtyards till they came in sight 
of a Hall built of dark red brick and surrounded by the delicate 
green of trees, with lawns stretching in front of it towards the 
river. 

" That great room," said Godmother, " has seen some won- 
derful sights, especially at Christmas time, when feasting and 
revelry went on within it. You remember the ' masques ' of 
Queen Elizabeth's day? Well, Middle Temple Hall was a 
favourite place for them, and the Queen herself sometimes came 
to see them there. You will understand in a moment what a 
splendid place it was for entertainments." 

And indeed when Betty stood under the oak rafters of the 
great room, with its stained-glass windows and its wide floor, she 
could imagine it filled with laughing, dancing people of Eliza- 
bethan days, or as it looked when on a platform at one end of 
it, decked with holly and garlands of ivy, the players acted a 
masque before the standing crowd that filled the rest of the 
hall. 

" In this very place," Godmother said, " Twelfth Night was 
once acted, and it is thought that Shakespeare himself took part 
in the performance of his own play. I hope the people who dine 
in it now sometimes think of the folk who feasted and made 
merry here hundreds of years ago." 

" Is it still the dining-room for the law people, then ? " 

" Yes, the governors of the Inn, the benchers as they are 
called, and the students dine here, and by an old custom no 
student can become a barrister unless he or she has dined a 
certain fixed number of times in this Hall." 

" She ? " echoed Betty. 

" Yes, don't you know that women have lately been allowed 
to study for the law ? " Godmother laughed. " If any of all 
the famous lawyers now dead, could come back to this place, 
perhaps of all the changes the one that might most astonish 



152 MAGIC LONDON 

them would be to find girls and women dining ' keeping com- 
mons ' as it is called in this Hall which for hundreds and 
hundreds of years has been sacred to men alone." 

" Shakespeare wouldn't be so very surprised, perhaps ? " 
suggested Betty. " He wasn't a lawyer, of course. But he 
would remember writing about Portia." 

Godmother laughed again. " Quite right, Betty. I'm sure 
he would. And now that you mention Shakespeare, do you 
remember anything about the Temple in his plays ? " 

Betty shook her head. 

" These are the gardens of Middle Temple," said Godmother, 
pointing to the lawns in front of the Hall (on one of which some 
young men were playing tennis). " It was the same garden that 
Shakespeare, who knew it well, chose for a famous scene in his 
play of Henry the Sixth when the party of Lancaster chose 
the red rose and the party of York the white one for a 
badge." 

" And then the Wars of the Roses began ! " said Betty. 
" What does Shakespeare say about it ? " 

" The scene goes like this. The gentlemen who take different 
sides in the quarrel between the House of York and Lancaster 
are just coming out of that very building," Godmother began, 
pointing to the Hall, " and one of them says : 

' Within the Temple Hall we were too loud : 
The garden here is more convenient.'" 

" This very garden," interrupted Betty. " Only I expect 
it was wilder and had lots of flowers in it then ? " 

" Evidently there were many rose bushes, for one noble, who 
is on the side of the Yorkists, says : 

' Let him that is a true born gentleman 
And stands upon the honour of his birth 
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth 
From off this briar pluck a white rose with me.' 

Then Somerset, on the side of the Lancastrians, takes up the 
challenge : 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 153 

' Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer 
But dare maintain the party of the truth 
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.' 

So the white and red roses are picked and stuck into the doublets 
as the sides are taken, and another noble, wise enough to see 
into the future, says that this quarrel in the Temple Gardens 
' shall send between the red rose and the white, A thousand souls 
to death and deadly night.' And so it did, in the dreadful long 
War of the Roses, as you remember." 

" But, Godmother," began Betty after a moment, " I thought 
we were going to be in the eighteenth century to-day, and so far 
we've been talking about much earlier times ! " 

"So we have ! And that's the worst, or best, of London. 
When a place like this Temple, is very old, the history of a great 
many ' times ' belongs to it. But you're quite right to remind 
me that I brought you here because, except for the church, and 
the Hall, and one or two other buildings, the look of the place 
as it is now, is much more seventeenth and eighteenth century 
than anything else, and is ' mixed up ' as you so often say, with 
the lives of many interesting eighteenth-century writers, who 
lived in one or other of the houses enclosing these charming 
courts. You'll know, or you ought to know, two of them, if I 
mention their names. Dr. Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith." 

" I've read The Vicar of Wakefield that Goldsmith wrote," 
said Betty, " and I've heard of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary but 
I don't know much about him." 

" Yet he's the man who will help us with our magic journey 
presently," Godmother returned. " For the time you may 
remember that Oliver Goldsmith was one of his friends." 

" Why, there's his name ! " Betty exclaimed as she caught 
sight of a medallion on the wall of a house in an enclosure called 
Brick Court. 

" That's where he lived and died, and the tablet is there to 
commemorate him. He was buried in the churchyard of the 
Temple Church. Come ! I will show you his tombstone. You 
will, I expect, read Goldsmith's life when you are older, and find 
out what a lovable man he was, in spite of many tiresome ways," 
she went on as they stood looking down at his grave. 



154 



MAGIC LONDON 



" Perhaps we shall see him when the magic begins ? " Betty 
suggested. " I should love to see him. The Sixth Form acted 
a scene out of She Stoops to Conquer last term. That's one 
of his plays, isn't it ? " 




" Yes, and a very charming one. No doubt, as you say, 
we shall actually see him later on, but we can look at a very 
amusing picture of him even before the magic begins, in a house 
I'm going to take you to visit now at once." 

" What house ? Who lives there ? " asked Betty, turning 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 155 

to take a last glance at the quiet dignified old houses of the 
Temple before they left it for the noise and bustle of Fleet 
Street. 

" No one now. But a hundred and seventy years ago Dr. 
Johnson lived there with his wife. It isn't far from here, so 
we'll walk." 

By this time they were standing under the archway at which 
they had entered the Temple. 

" That's the Law Courts, isn't it ? " Betty asked, pointing 
to a pile of buildings opposite. " But they're not old, are they ? " 

" No. They were built about forty years ago. But near 
them, are the two other beautiful old Inns I mentioned, Lincoln's 
Inn and Gray's Inn, both of which you must see some day. 
This part of London is full of buildings connected with the law. 

" Now let us walk a little way up Fleet Street, and as we 
go, notice what a number of narrow alleys or passages there are 
on the left. All of them are interesting, but we shall only have 
time for the special one we are going to see." 

" Crane Court, Bolt Court, Johnson's Court we're getting 
near him, aren't we ? " Betty said as she read the names aloud. 

" Fleet Street is full of memories of Dr. Johnson. He had 
many dwelling places, but however often he moved, he never 
went far from Fleet Street." 

Godmother now led the way up a narrow alley called Bolt 
Court, and in a moment they came to a little enclosure in which 
one or two of the houses were of the kind Betty had seen in the 
Temple, old, square, and built of dark red bricks, while others 
were quite modern business places. 

"Ihis is Gough Square, and here is Dr. Johnson's house," 
Godmother said, stopping opposite one of the old houses with 
the tiniest little garden in front of it. " For years it was used 
as an office for printers, and it would have been pulled down by 
now if a gentleman called Mr. Cecil Harmsworth had not bought 
it and given it to the nation to be kept for ever in memory of 
Dr. Johnson. Now well ring the bell and go in, and you shall 
see what the inside of an eighteenth-century house was like. 
For this one has been arranged as nearly as possible as it was 
in Dr. Johnson's time." 



156 MAGIC LONDON 

Betty was delighted with the panelled rooms, with the quaint 
deep cupboards in the walls, one of which, as the interesting 
housekeeper who showed the place told her, was a powder closet, 
where the gentlemen's wigs and the ladies' hair were powdered 
before they went to parties or " routs," and " assemblies," as 
in eighteenth-century days, parties were called. Upstairs there 
was a big attic stretching the length of the house, and here it 
was that Dr. Johnson worked at his great and famous Dictionary. 
But every room was full of memories of him hi the shape of 
letters or books arranged in glass cases, or in pictures on the walls. 

" Here is the picture I told you about, showing Dr. Johnson 
and his friend Goldsmith together," said Godmother, pointing 
to one of them. "It's very interesting because the scene it 
represents, took place over there in Wine Office Court," she 
pointed out of the window to an opposite street, "where at one 
time Goldsmith lived." 

" What are they doing ? " asked Betty, looking at the paint- 
ing. " That's Goldsmith in the funny night-cap, I suppose ? " 

The caretaker, who seemed to know everything that was to 
be known about the house and its belongings, began to tell her 
the following story of the picture. 

" Though he was the kindest-hearted man in the world, 
Oliver Goldsmith was so careless and happy-go-lucky that he 
was always in debt, and one morning before he was dressed, he 
sent over a messenger to this house in which you are standing, 
to borrow a guinea from his neighbour, Dr. Johnson. Dr. 
Johnson crossed this little Square which you see from the window, 
and went to his friend's lodgings opposite, to find out what was 
the matter. The picture shows you why Goldsmith wanted the 
money. There is his angry landlady waiting to be paid, and 
there is Goldsmith in his nightcap and dressing-gown with Dr. 
Johnson sitting opposite to him, looking over some sheets of 
writing." 

" Why is he doing that ? " Betty asked. 

" Well, he knows that his friend is penniless, and even though 
he now has the money to pay his landlady, he must have some 
more to go on with. So he has asked him if he has written 
anything that might possibly be sold. Goldsmith, you see, has 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 



157 



been rummaging in that box into which he has thrown stories 
he has written from time to time, and the manuscript he has 
just handed to Dr. Johnson is no other than The Vicar of Wake- 
field \ 

"That's the story so far as the picture tells it. But we 




know what happens next. Dr. Johnson puts the manuscript 
into one of those big pockets of his, goes out, and in a short 
time returns with sixty pounds the price he has received for 
the book by which Oliver Goldsmith is best known the famous 
Vicar of Wake field." 



158 MAGIC LONDON 

" And perhaps if Dr. Johnson hadn't taken it, it would never 
have been published at all ? " Betty suggested. 

" Very likely," agreed Godmother. " Well, now that you've 
seen Dr. Johnson's house, well go and look at the inn in which 
he and Goldsmith often sat." 

They crossed the little Square, and found themselves almost 
at once in Wine Office Court. 

" Unluckily Goldsmith's house has gone, but here is the 
Cheshire Cheese, one of the oldest inns in London, for it was old, 
when Johnson and Goldsmith used to come here." 

They stepped then into the quaintest of taverns ! It was 
dark, with low ceilings and sanded floors, and when they had 
looked at everything and seen the chair pointed out as Dr. 
Johnson's, Betty could scarcely believe they were in modern 
London. 

" I understand now why we don't need ' the magic ' to see a 
good deal of London as it was in the eighteenth century ! " she 
remarked. " There's quite a lot of it left." 

" Much more than most people know about, because only a 
few take the trouble to discover it hidden away behind modern 
buildings," Godmother returned. 

" Is there any other place left in Fleet Street that Johnson 
used to go to ? " Betty asked. " You said he was always walking 
about here." 

"I'm afraid most of the other houses with memories of him 
have been pulled down, but before we leave Fleet Street let us 
go into the church where Sunday after Sunday he worshipped. 
You know St. Clement Danes ? Here it is, standing in the 
middle of the road near to the Temple one of the seventeenth- 
century churches built after the Fire." 

They entered, and Betty followed her Godmother up into 
the gallery where a tablet on a certain pew near the pulpit, 
marked Dr. Johnson's seat. 

" It's interesting to know just where he sat," Betty said, 
as they left the church. " Is the next place we're going to, 
hidden away like Gough Square, Godmother ? " 

" Far from it. I'm going to take you now to the Adelphi, 
to which business people who have offices there, go every day." 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 159 

"The Adelphi ? That's a turning out of the Strand, isn't 

" Yes. Have you ever asked what the name means ? " 

Betty shook her head. 

" Does it sound to you like an English name ? " 

" Adelphi," Betty repeated. " No, it doesn't. What lan- 
guage is it ? " 

" Greek. It's the Greek word for brothers." 

By this time the car had turned up a street near Charing 
Cross Station, and was moving slowly past lines of houses which 
Betty recognized as belonging to the eighteenth century. 

" Look at the name of that street," said Godmother, pointing 
to it. 

" Durham House Street," Betty read. 

" Well now, remember the Strand as we saw it by magic 
about the time of Elizabeth, when stately houses surrounded 
by gardens, stood facing the river. Just here, where we are 
driving through these streets of eighteenth-century houses, stood 
Durham House, where Lady Jane Grey was born. We saw it, 
if you remember, when we were in Queen Elizabeth's reign. 
That accounts for the name Durham House Street which you've 
just seen. But it doesn't account for names like Adam Street, 
and James Street, does it ? " As she spoke, Godmother was 
pointing to them as they appeared written up on the walls of 
corner houses. " I'll explain about that in a minute, when 
you've looked at this beautiful place we're coming to, called 
Adelphi Terrace." 

They had turned into a broad road, open on one side to the 
river, and lined on the other side by a row of stately houses with 
delicately ornamented flat pillars, against the walls. 

" The Adelphi, as you see," she went on, " is really a whole 
district laid out in streets of eighteenth-century houses, built 
over the ground where Durham House once stood. About a 
hundred and fifty years ago, when Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith 
were living, there was a Scotch family of four brothers in London. 
Their names were John, James, Robert and William Adam. 
They were all architects, and also designers of a beautiful kind 
of furniture which has ever since been called Adam furniture, and 



160 MAGIC LONDON 

is now very valuable. These brothers built this little part of 
London which was not only called the Adelphi that is ' the 
Brothers ' in honour of them, but each brother gave his Chris- 
tian name to a street, while yet another street bears the surname 
of the family. So we have Adam, James, John and Robert 
Streets. There used to be a William's Street, but that has been 
changed to Durham House Street within the last few years." 

" Poor William ! " said Betty. " He's gone out of the 
family ! Still, the new name does remind us of Durham House 
and Lady Jane Grey, doesn't it ? Oh ! two of the brothers, 
Robert and James, lived here, Godmother ! " she went on, 
pointing to a tablet on one of the houses in the terrace. " And 
here's another tablet next door. It says that David Garrick 
lived in this house. Who was David Garrick ? " 

" A famous actor of the eighteenth century and one of Dr. 
Johnson's friends. He acted at Drury Lane Theatre where, 
eighty years or so before his time, Pepys, you remember, used 
to go to see the pretty actress, Nell Gwynne. But you will read 
about these eighteenth-century people when you are older, and 
perhaps feel as I do, that you know them all very well. Take a 
last look at this Adelphi, because it's a good example of the sort 
of architecture that belongs to the time of George the Second 
and Third. There are many other eighteenth-century streets 
and nooks and corners scattered about London among the forest 
of new buildings that has sprung up since the reign of George 
the Second. But I shall leave you to find them for yourself. 
It will make a nice occupation for you when you go for a walk ! 
Now we must rush home if we want any lunch to-day." 

" But you won't forget the ' magic/ will you ? " urged Betty 
anxiously. 

In the white parlour, an hour or two later, she sat full of 
expectation, watching Godmother as she took a volume from 
the enchanted cabinet. 

" Here is the book that will take us back to-day," she said. 
"It's called Boswell's Life of Johnson, and it's almost as good for 
news of the eighteenth century, as Pepys' Diary is, for news of 
the seventeenth. Shut your eyes, hold the book in the magic 




A SEDAN CHAIR 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 161 

way, and say, as Johnson used to say to his friend Boswell, 
'Sir, let us walk down Fleet Street.' " 

In a flash they were there, and at first sight Betty could 
scarcely believe it was the same Fleet Street she had left only 
a few hours previously. In a minute or two, however, she 
recognized it, in spite of the changes, for she stood close to the 
entrance to the Temple, and not far from it rose the church of 
St. Clement Danes. But the great pile of the new Law Courts 
had vanished, and so had the monument with the griffin upon 
it in the middle of the road. Where that had stood an hour or 
two previously there stretched a fine stone gateway, and a line 
of little shops took the place of the Law Courts. 

" That's Temple Bar," said Godmother, pointing to the gate. 
" If you had lived forty years ago, you would have seen it 
without the help of magic, for it had not then been pulled down." 

" What are those long spikes for on the top ? " asked Betty, 
gazing up at the gate. 

" For a horrible purpose. On them were fixed the heads 
of men who had been executed as traitors. Johnson and 
Goldsmith saw the heads of certain rebels on those spikes, only 
a hundred and seventy years ago." 

" I'm glad they're not there now," said Betty, shuddering. 
" Does Temple Bar belong to the time before the Fire ? " 

" No. The old one was burnt, and this took its place. But 
some sort of chain or bar or gate has been on this spot for eight 
hundred years to mark the place where the part of London called 
Westminster ends, and the City begins. Even now, in our time, 
though there's no gate left, when the King pays a state visit to 
the City, he stops here and asks the Lord Mayor who comes to 
meet him for permission to pass Temple Bar ! " 

" Except that it's newer, St. Clement Danes church, where 
Dr. Johnson goes, looks the same," remarked Betty, searching 
for buildings with which she was familiar. 

"Yes, it's one of the many churches rebuilt after the Fire 
by Sir Christopher Wren." 

" ' Oranges and Lemons, 

Say the bells of St. Clement's ! ' " 



162 MAGIC LONDON 

Betty quoted. " That's a nursery rhyme about that very 
church, isn't it ? It goes on to tell what all the other church bells 
say too ! " she added. 

" We'll read it when we slip back into our own day," God- 
mother answered. " Now look up and down the street." 

Glancing first at the road, Betty saw that instead of the 
smooth wood pavement with motor omnibuses running quickly 
over it, Fleet Street was now paved with round cobblestones 
which extended right up to the shops on .either hand, and only 
a row of posts divided the foot passengers from the traffic. 

Big lumbering coaches, with powdered footmen standing up 
behind them, rolled clattering over the stones. Wagons piled 
with vegetables jolted along, the horses led by carters in smock 
frocks, cracking their whips. Every now and then a sedan chair 
slung on poles and carried by men-servants, passed by, giving her 
a glimpse of a lady within, dressed in flowered silk, her hair piled 
high and powdered thickly. 

Instead of gabled houses with the latticed windows of earlier 
times, she saw taller, plainer houses, like those in the streets of 
the Adelphi, built of small bricks, with sash windows level with 
their walls, and each story exactly over the one beneath it. 
There were no top windows now from which opposite neighbours 
shook hands across the street. At every shop door, a sign hung 
out, some painted on wood, others made of gilded metal. 

"It's all much cleaner and lighter since the Fire ! " Betty 
exclaimed. " And how pretty the sign-boards make the steeet. 
And, oh, Godmother, how pretty the dresses are." 

Even the more plainly-dressed business men, she thought, 
looked nice in their knee-breeches, brown stockings and ruffled 
shirts. But every now and then, beautifully-dressed young men 
passed her, wearing flowered waistcoats, white or coloured satin 
coats and silk stockings with knee-breeches. Their swords were 
fastened with broad sashes round the waist. Dainty lace ruffles 
fell over their hands. Under their arms they carried three- 
cornered hats, trimmed with gold lace, and their hair, rather 
long and powdered, was tied with a black ribbon. Nearly all 
of them carried gold snuff-boxes, and long gold-handled canes. 

" The men are quite, if not more elegant, than the women, 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 



163 



you see in this reign of George the Second," said Godmother. 
" Here comes one, however, who is by no means welldressed," 
she added, smiling. 




Betty looked in the direction to which she pointed, and saw 
two figures approaching. One was a neat dapper gentleman, 
but the other was the oddest -looking individual ! He wore 
shabby buckled shoes, black worsted stockings, all wrinkled, 



164 MAGIC LONDON 

knee-breeches, a long coat of a rusty brown, and a wig much 
too small for him ; old and unpowdered. He was stout, and 
clumsily made, moved very awkwardly, and had a large heavy 
face. 

" It's Dr. Johnson ! " cried Betty. " And that's Mr. Boswell 
with him, I suppose ? " 

" Yes, listening intently to every word he utters. He will 
rush home presently and write down every syllable of Dr. 
Johnson's conversation, and later on, publish it in that wonderful 
Life of his friend. Well, now that we've had a glimpse of Fleet 
Street as it was in the eighteenth century, I'm going to whisk 
you off to look at the river. Shut your eyes and wish yourself 
standing on the Embankment somewhere close to Westminster 
Bridge." . . . 

" Why, there's no Embankment, and there's no Westmin- 
ster Bridge ! " Betty exclaimed when she found herself standing 
at the edge of the river which washed right up to the houses on 
its banks. Remembering the many bridges to be seen from 
Westminster in our day, she looked right and left, but not one 
was visible. 

" London Bridge, out of sight because of the winding of the 
river, is still the only bridge over the Thames, you will notice ! " 
said Godmother. " They're just beginning to build one here, 
where our Westminster Bridge now stands. But it isn't finished 
yet, and one must still row from bank to bank." 

" And it's still country on the other side," Betty remarked, 
looking across the water at farms and clusters of cottages where 
now, immense buildings line the banks on the other side of 
the present Westminster Bridge. " And oh, Godmother, how 
strange not to see the Houses of Parliament of our time ! They 
haven't been built yet, of course ? And that's part of the Old 
Palace of Westminster that stands where our Houses of Parlia- 
ment is now, I suppose ? " 

" Yes, and St. Stephen's Chapel, where the House of Com- 
mons met, was standing there, just as you see it now, ninety 
years ago, in my father's lifetime. He saw it burning, and 
watched the building of the new Parliament Houses familiar to 
you. 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 165 

" Let us go down these steps, and take the boat that water- 
man is just pushing off. We'll first go down the river a little 
way, and then up towards Chelsea/' 

" The Strand begins to look like the Strand of our time, 
doesn't it ? " Betty said. " Nearly all the beautiful old palaces 
have gone, and what were country lanes between them are now 
streets," she sighed. " What a pity ! And there are no streams 
now running across the countrified Strand and emptying them- 
selves into the river." 

" No. But they still run underground, beneath the 
houses and roads/' Godmother said. " Under Fleet Street, 
for instance, flows the stream called Fleet. But instead of 
dancing along in the sunlight, it runs through iron pipes 
and is a sewer ! A sad fate for the poor little river, isn't 
it?" 

" There's quite a lot of building going on," said Betty pre- 
sently. " What's that big place just begun, where the workmen 
are now ? " 

" Don't you recognize it ? It's going to be the Adelphi you 
saw this morning." 

Betty was silent a moment. " And once it was Durham 
House, and Lady Jane Grey lived there, when it was all country 
round her," she said rather sadly at last. " How London 
changes, doesn't it, Godmother ? " . . . 

Presently the boat turned, and they rowed westward up the 
river. 

" We are going in the direction of Chelsea your home, "said 
Godmother. " You will find it a village among fields and 
woods. Kensington is also a country village, and the lanes and 
roads are terribly unsafe at night. Highwaymen often lie in 
wait for coaches that may be passing, and ' Your money or your 
life ! ' is what they say when they put a pistol at the heads of 
travellers." 

" It is funny to think of the King's Road in Chelsea, full of 
omnibuses and taxis now, being a country lane ! " Betty said, 
for the boat had moved with all the swiftness to which she was 
accustomed in these visits into the Past, and they were passing 
Chelsea Church. " But at least I know the church ! That 



i66 



MAGIC LONDON 



must have been there for hundreds of years, because Sir Thomas 
More's tomb is in it." 

" And do you see the remains of a house near the church ? " 
Godmother asked, pointing to all that was left of a beautiful 
mansion which workmen were even then pulling down. " That's 




where Sir Thomas More lived for many years. You see it 
being destroyed before your eyes in the reign of George the 
Second. So it seems they were no more careful to preserve 
beautiful or interesting buildings in the eighteenth century than 
we are who live in the twentieth ! Every time you walk down 
Beaufort Street, Chelsea, you may remember that you are on the 
site of that old house and its gardens." 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 167 

One other building besides the church, Betty had recognized. 
Like the church, it stood surrounded by fields and gardens, in- 
stead of by the houses and streets of modern days. This was the 
Chelsea Hospital which, as she already knew, had been built by 
Charles the Second as a home for the old soldiers of his day and 
was still the home for the old soldiers of our own times. She 
knew well by sight the old men in their scarlet coats, and almost 
every day she walked through the gardens belonging to the 
Hospital. But the gardens she now saw from the boat looked 
much larger, and had an altogether different appearance. 

" What's that great round thing among the trees, God- 
mother ? " she asked. 

" That's the Rotunda of Ranelagh." 

" But what is it ? It's not there now in. our time ! " 

" No, but in this reign it's a very celebrated place of amuse- 
ment for all the gay world of London. The two fashionable 
pleasure gardens are Vauxhall and this Ranelagh, close to 
Chelsea Hospital. Do you know Doulton's big factory on the 
opposite side of the river ? " 

" Yes, the place with the tall terra-cotta chimney, you 
mean ? " 

" Well, just about where the factory stands in our day, 
stretches a garden laid out with winding walks and avenues of 
trees. You can just see it from this point. That is the famous 
Vauxhall. Eighteenth-century novels are full of mention of 
Ranelagh and Vauxhall, and Boswell tells us how fond Dr. 
Johnson was of both of them." 

" Oh, can't we land, and see one of them ? " Betty implored. 

" You shall have a glimpse of Ranelagh by night. We 
needn't land either, for our magic is all powerful, you know. 
Just shut your eyes a moment and wish yourself in Ranelagh 
at ten o'clock in the evening. . . . Now open them and look." 

For a moment Betty was dazzled by glittering lights, but 
as she looked round her she drew a long breath of delight. 

" Oh, how pretty ! " she exclaimed. " It's like fairy-land." 

The " round thing " of which she had caught sight between 
trees, she now saw to be a sort of dome, beneath which was a 
circle of gilded and painted recesses, something like the boxes in 



i68 



MAGIC LONDON 



a theatre. From a pavilion in the middle of the covered part 
of the gardens, came the sound of music, and in every recess 
ladies and gentlemen were seated before little tables with glasses 
and cups upon them. With the dome, or Rotunda, as God- 




mother called it, as a centre, long alleys of trees stretched in 
every direction, like the spokes of a wheel, and were lighted 
by lamps hanging from the trees. The whole place indeed 
sparkled with lights, and in their radiance walked charming 
figures. Pretty ladies in gowns of brocade with powdered hair 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 169 

and little black patches on their faces, were escorted by gentle- 
men no less charming in their satin coats, flowered waistcoats 
and three-cornered hats. They walked up and down the leafy 
alleys, sometimes stopping before platforms where people were 
singing or acting, sometimes greeting other parties of friends 
with low curtsies from the ladies and deep bows from the gentle- 
men. 

Betty was entranced by the charming scene. 

"It's very pretty, isn't it ? " said Godmother. " No wonder 
Dr. Johnson said, ' When I first entered Ranelagh it gave me 
an expansion and gay sensation in my mind such as I never 
experienced anywhere else.' ' 

" I wonder if he's here to-night ? " Betty replied. 

" Very likely. I see many well-known people. There's 
Oliver Goldsmith in the claret-coloured velvet coat. He's 
much tidier and better dressed than usual ! And do you notice 
that little man, rather deformed, in black satin, with ruffles of 
lace ? That's Mr. Pope, the poet. He is very witty. You see 
how he is surrounded by laughing men and women ? But they're 
all rather afraid of him, for he's quite likely to make fun of them 
in his next poem." 

" Oh, I should like to live in these times," sighed Betty, 
" and go to parties in a sedan chair, and be dressed like these 
ladies when I grow up. ..." 

Godmother laughed at her face of amazement when she 
found herself finishing the sentence in the white parlour at 
Westminster. 

" There are advantages and disadvantages about every age," 
she said. " I don't think you'd care at all for the way most 
little girls of the eighteenth century were brought up. You 
wouldn't have the freedom you enjoy now, I can assure you ! " 

Betty sighed again, but this time because she remembered 
with a pang that this was her last visit for a long time to the 
little house from which she had taken so many magic journeys. 
Godmother was going abroad again, and for many months her 
house would be closed. Before she could speak, however, the 
old lady went on : " Now mind you go soon to the London 
Museum to refresh your memory about to-day's glimpse of the 



170 MAGIC LONDON 

eighteenth century in this wonderful city of ours. Go into the 
Costume rooms, and look at the dresses. You will find there 
the very velvet coat we saw dear old Oliver Goldsmith wearing 
at Ranelagh. You will see the sedan chairs in which the fine 
ladies were carried, and a thousand other things belonging to 
eighteenth-century London which you must find for yourself." 

" I can go on Monday," Betty said, " because holidays are 
beginning." 

" Do. And on your way home, try to imagine how all the 
changes in the streets since the eighteenth century would strike 
Dr. Johnson, for instance. 

" You will go back by Tube, which is to you a familiar way 
of getting about. But think of Dr. Johnson's face if he could 
suddenly walk into a lift and be lowered into the depths of the 
earth, and then shot through a narrow tunnel from the Bank to 
Marble Arch, or farther ! " 

Betty laughed. " And he wouldn't recognize Marble Arch 
when he got there, would he ? " 

" Not a bit. He would expect to see a more or less country 
road where Oxford Street now runs, and close to the place where 
the Marble Arch stands to-day he would look for the gallows 
called Tyburn Tree, where in his time people were hanged. 
Think how amazed he would be to behold motor vehicles instead 
of coaches and sedan chairs in the streets." 

"Or to see trains, and telephones, and electric lights, and 
telegrams and aeroplanes," put in Betty. " They would all be 
strange to him. After all, aeroplanes are still a little strange to 
us ! " she added. 

" You'll pass several Post Offices on your way to Chelsea," 
Godmother went on, " and to you, to drop a letter this afternoon 
through a slit outside the office, and expect it to reach Newcastle 
or Exeter to-morrow morning seems quite natural. To Dr. 
Johnson it would appear marvellous, for in his day, letters had 
to be carried by men on horseback from one town to another. 
These are only a few examples of the changes which have taken 
place since the eighteenth century, which in some ways seems so 
near us and in other respects so far away." ... 

" Oh, Godmother, do come back soon ! " Betty said, when 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 171 

the sad moment for saying good-bye had come. " There are 
hundreds and hundreds more things I want to see in London ! " 

" Then you don't hate it quite so much as you did some weeks 
ago ? " asked the old lady slyly. 

" Oh, I love it ! But I never should have loved it without 
you and the magic journeys. And now there won't be any 
more magic for ages." 

" That will be your own fault then," returned Godmother 
briskly. " With certain books, some of which you know 
already, as guides, and a certain exercise of imagination which 
will grow stronger if you practise it, the Present will melt into 
the Past, and you will be able to call it up at your pleasure. 
But never forget, Betty, that the Past has made the Present, 
and when you are grown up, try to make other people reverence 
the Past of London, and be unwilling, except for very pressing 
reasons, to destroy what is old and full of memories. London 
is changing before our eyes, and too much that is beautiful and 
interesting is being swept away, often through carelessness and 
indifference. I hope you 11 be one of the small group of people 
who help to guard the Past, and use their influence to prevent 
unnecessary destruction in our wonderful city. And remember 
that you've only just begun to know a tiny fraction of its history. 
There is enough yet left to learn to last you your lifetime." 

" I know," said Betty. " Godmother," she added after a 
moment, " you said you would read me the rhyme about London 
bells." 

Godmother went to the cabinet, out of which so many charms 
had been drawn, and took out a book which she put into Betty's 
hand. 

" You'll find it in this book, which I'm going to give you in 
memory of our journeys, magic and otherwise. It's called Lon- 
don in Song, and I hope it will remind you of many things we've 
seen together. The Nursery Rhyme about the bells was written 
by some unknown lover of London who lived in the eighteenth 
century, and some of it at least you've often sung at parties 
when you played ' Oranges and Lemons.' " 

So in the Tube on her way home to Chelsea, which she could 



172 MAGIC LONDON 

now picture as it was before it had become just a part of London 
instead of a country village, Betty read the rhyme of the bells, 
and amused herself by counting up how many of the churches 
mentioned in it she knew. 

" Gay. go up and gay go down 
To ring the bells of London Town. 

Oranges and lemons, 

Say the bells of St. Clement's. 

Bull's eyes and targets, 

Say the bells of St. Marg'ret's. 

Brickbats and tiles, 

Say the bells of St. Giles'. 

Halfpence and farthings, 
Say the bells of St. Martin's. 

Pancakes and fritters, 

Say the beUs of St. Peter's. 

Two sticks and an apple, 
Say the bells of Whitechapel. 

Pokers and tongs, 

Say the bells of St. John's. 

Kettles and pans, 

Say the bells of St. Ann's. 

Old Father Baldpate, 

Say the slow bells of Aldgate. 

You owe me ten shillings, 
Say the bells of St. Helen's. 

When will you pay me ? 
Say the bells of Old Bailey. 

When I grow rich, 

Say the bells of Shoreditch. 



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY 173 

Pray when will that be ? 
Say the bells of Stepney. 

I do not know, 

Says the great bell of Bow. 

Gay go up and gay go down 

To ring the bells of London Town." 

Never again could Betty think of London as a dull, dreary 
place, for though she continued to forget how she actually got 
back into the Past, she kept a picture in her mind of London 
through the ages. 

There was the Roman city, with its fortress and its market- 
place filled with the British people the Romans had conquered. 
Then the city of the Middle Ages, inhabited by a different race 
the English race the little city with its gabled houses encircled 
by fields and woods. Next came the city of Elizabeth's day, 
richer and bigger now, with its ships floating up to London Bridge, 
its beautiful " Chepe " or market-place crowded with prosperous 
people. 

Again she saw it a heap of ruins in Restoration days, with 
only a few of its buildings remaining after the Great Fire that 
swept it clean. Her next glimpse of it showed her London two 
hundred and fifty years after the Fire a different London, of 
broader streets, and plainer and more healthy dwellings, with 
churches and public buildings, different altogether in architec- 
ture from those of the Middle Ages, or of the days of Elizabeth. 
Finally there was the London of her own day, the huge city 
of streets and factories and big modern buildings, among which 
there still lingered not only many rows of seventeenth- and 
eighteenth-century houses and many churches and other public 
buildings dating from the time when London rose from its ashes 
after the Great Fire, but also buildings far, far older than these. 
There was the Tower ; there was Westminster Abbey ; there was 
Westminster Hall. These had looked down for ages upon the 
city by the Thames, and watched it through its many changes 
from early times to the day in which Betty herself lived. 

But apart from these three ancient monuments, she could 



i; 4 MAGIC LONDON 

scarcely now walk through any part of modern London without 
seeing something if only the name of a street, which recalled a 
memory of the Past. London had, in fact, become for her what 
Godmother had once called it the Magic City. 



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